Political Concepts and Political Theories

By Gerald F. Gaus | Go to book overview

be effective contributors. The allied ideas of civil justice and facilitatory social justice were also examined. I stressed that although a theory of justice emphasizing merit is often associated with classical liberalism, and although selection of civil service positions by merit has been endorsed by classical liberals, the generalization of selection by merit to all social positions presupposes a view of society that is much closer to Hobhouse's revisionist liberalism than to Hayek's classical liberalism. Contrasted to Hobhouse's collectivist desert theory is Rawls's pluralist egalitarian revisionist liberal conception of justice (Section 8.4). For Rawls--and here he follows the classical liberal tradition--justice is composed of the rules that free and equal people would accept. But in Rawls's version of the social contract, the equality rather than the freedom of the parties is salient; knowing nothing about their specific natures, values, or way of life, they select principles that stress their equality, especially in the distribution of wealth, income, and opportunities. We now turn to examining some leading nonliberal theories of justice.


Notes
1.
John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism, in John Gray, ed., On Liberty and Other Essays ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), chap. 5, para. 4. All the quotes from Mill in Section 8.1 are from Utilitarianism, chap. 5, paras. 5-10.
2.
See James M. McPherson, The Battle Cry of Freedom ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), pp. 80-82.
3.
See Hannah Pitkin, Wittgenstein and Justice ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), chap. 8.
4.
J. R. Lucas, On Justice ( Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), p. 209.
5.
See Michael Slote, "Desert, Consent and Justice," Philosophy and Public Affairs, vol. 2 ( Summer 1973), pp. 323-347. David Miller considers a third principle, "compensation," according to which a "man's reward should depend on the costs which he incurs in his work activity." Social Justice ( Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976), p. 103. Compare Norman's view of "equal benefits" in Section 7.3. For a very good analysis of theories of distributive justice that pays attention to principles of desert, see Julian Lamont, "Distributive Justice," in Edward N. Zalta, ed., Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy [online at http://plato.stanford.edu].
6.
Immanuel Kant quoted in James Rachels, The Elements of Moral Philosophy, 3rd ed. ( New York: McGraw-Hill, 1999), p. 127.
7.
For Hohfeld classic analysis, see his "Some Fundamental Legal Conceptions As Applied in Judicial Reasoning," Yale Law Review, vol. 23 ( 1913), pp. 16-59. I am drawing here on L. W. Sumner, The Moral Foundations of Rights ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), p. 27. For helpful explications of Hohfeld's analysis, see R. E. Robinson, S. C. Coval, and J. C. Smith, "The Logic of Rights," University of Toronto Law Review, vol. 33 ( 1983), pp. 267-278; Michael Freeden, Rights ( Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991), chap. 1.
8.
I am again following Sumner, The Moral Foundations of Rights, p. 30.

-207-

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