Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee

Fairness

  • Susan P. Murphy
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_257

The idea of fairness is broad and complex, and can mean different things in different contexts. The ideas of fairness and unfairness are basic ethical predicates within almost all moral and ethical theoretical frameworks. Fairness is a pervasive idea that is appealed to in discussions on all aspects of life – in the workplace (e.g., that the right person was employed or promoted), in sports (that is, that all participants play by the rules of the particular game), in the family (e.g., that each family member does their share of the household tasks, or that each child receives their share of attention/love/care according to their needs and stage of life).

Broadly speaking, the idea of fairness implies some level of impartiality in actions, relationships, or structures. In everyday use, when a person speaks of an act or a situation being fair or unfair this is often taken as a strong reason in favor of or against a certain course of action. While appeals to fairness do not prescribe or...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan P. Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Politics and International RelationsUniversity College DublinDublinIreland