The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Justice

  • Amartya Sen
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_1207

Abstract

Traditionally, economists have treated justice as a component of social welfare maximization. Recently, philosophical treatments of justice have challenged the three principles underlying utilitarianism: welfarism, sum-ranking and consequentialism. Various theories of justice advance alternatives to utility (such as Rawls’s notion of ‘primary goods’) as a basis for social judgements, counterpose distributional criteria (such as Sen’s ‘leximin’ rule) to the aggregative approach of utilitarianism, and assert the moral priority of certain aspects of individual advantage (such as Nozick’s idea of individual rights as entitlements) over consequences. This article attempts to distinguish and clarify these conceptions of justice.

Keywords

Arrow, K. Consequentialism Difference principle Entitlements Envy Equality Fairness Interpersonal utility comparisons Justice Leximin Liberty Maximin Meade, J. Nozick, R. Pigou, A. Primary goods Property rights Rawls, J. Sen, A. Sum-ranking Utilitarianism Welfarism 

JEL Classifications

K0 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amartya Sen
    • 1
  1. 1.