POWER IN SOCIAL ORGANIZATION AS THE SUBJECT OF JUSTICE
The paper suggests that the state is subject to assessment according to principles of social justice because state institutions or practices exercise forms of power over which no particular person has control. This rationale for assessment of social justice equally applies to legally optional or informal social practices. But it does not apply to individual conduct. Indeed, it follows that principles of social justice cannot provide a basis for the assessment and guidance of individual choice. The paper develops this practice-based conception of the subject of justice by rejoining G. A. Cohen's influential critique of Rawls’ focus on the “basic structure” of society.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Philosophy University of California, Irvine
Publication date: 2005-03-01