Download Equal Justice (Clarendon Paperbacks) by Eric Rakowski PDF

By Eric Rakowski

The middle of this e-book is a unique idea of distributive justice premised at the basic ethical equality of people. within the gentle of this thought, Rakowski considers 3 varieties of difficulties which urgently require solutions--the distribution of assets, estate rights, and the saving of life--and presents not easy and unconventional solutions. additional, he criticizes the commercial research of legislation as a normative conception, and develops another account of tort and estate law.

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Extra resources for Equal Justice (Clarendon Paperbacks)

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The question is how to combine this conviction with the equally important thesis that people, as responsible agents (certain exceptional cases apart), should be held accountable for their decisions insofar as they affect the resources and other welfare-enhancing rights and permissions available to others. The two opportunity-based theories discussed in this section provide related answers. 29 ____________________ 28 29 I have not discussed welfare-based theories that define welfare not in terms of the satisfaction of a person's desires or some subjective state of mind or feeling, but rather in terms of some objective ideal, according to which a person might be living well even if he denied that he was happy.

Those who choose to work harder and longer surely deserve to keep at least some of the fruits of their additional efforts. To allot them less than the rest is to make them slaves of their less competent co-workers. But that is precisely what utilitarianism declares be done, once one sets aside external preferences and thus ignores satisfaction or anger stemming from people's acceptance of nonutilitarian theories of just compensation. Of course, in practice such a scheme would never work. People would hide their talents and coercion would be necessary to induce those poor at dissembling but good at other things to sow that others might reap.

Either one must give external preferences their due, at the cost of denying the equal moral worth of persons by giving the opponents of utilitarianism, along with the prejudiced and intolerant generally, a legitimate political voice. Or one must remove external preferences from the hedonic calculus, at the cost of what most would recognize as rank injustice. In theory, one could steer between these shoals by judiciously excluding some but not all external preferences. Such attempts, however, are bound to appear ad hoc, desperate measures to save a poisoned doctrine, and no one has yet developed a suitable sieve.

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