Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/288997
Title:
Justice, liberalism, and responsibility
Author:
Scalet, Steven Paul
Issue Date:
1999
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation addresses the importance of conceptions of responsibility for contemporary theories of justice. I criticize recent defenses of liberalism which try to proceed without conceptions of responsibility. I argue that a conception of neutrality does not provide adequate support for defending a liberal theory of justice. I defend this claim by examining Brian Barry's recent defense of neutrality liberalism. His idea of neutrality reduces to an indefensible skeptical argument about conceptions of the good. I next examine John Rawls's account of political liberalism. I argue that his approach fails to appropriately address the persons and traditions that would be sacrificed within a Rawlsian liberal order. Rawls's notion of reasonableness and his argument from the burdens of judgment are insufficient bases to develop a liberal theory of justice. I then examine the idea of equality and its relationship with responsibility. Egalitarians describe the ideal of equality as the most fundamental notion for a theory of justice. They also interpret other traditions--such as the contractarian approaches of Barry and Rawls--in terms of this commitment to moral equality. Through a discussion of Ronald Dworkin's liberal egalitarianism, I argue that any plausible interpretation of moral equality must rely on an account of personal responsibility. Claims about responsibility, I argue, must be at the core of any theory of theory of justice. In the last chapter, I consider what a theory of justice should be about. I argue that the common assumption that justice is about devising principles to regulate institutions distorts how we should organize concerns of justice. Justice is about people treating each other with the respect and dignity that they are due. Problems about institutional design must be responsive to an account of individual responsibilities of justice, rather than the contemporary liberal approach of devising institutional principles prior to and with regulative primacy.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Philosophy.; Economics, General.; Political Science, General.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Philosophy
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Schmidtz, David

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleJustice, liberalism, and responsibilityen_US
dc.creatorScalet, Steven Paulen_US
dc.contributor.authorScalet, Steven Paulen_US
dc.date.issued1999en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation addresses the importance of conceptions of responsibility for contemporary theories of justice. I criticize recent defenses of liberalism which try to proceed without conceptions of responsibility. I argue that a conception of neutrality does not provide adequate support for defending a liberal theory of justice. I defend this claim by examining Brian Barry's recent defense of neutrality liberalism. His idea of neutrality reduces to an indefensible skeptical argument about conceptions of the good. I next examine John Rawls's account of political liberalism. I argue that his approach fails to appropriately address the persons and traditions that would be sacrificed within a Rawlsian liberal order. Rawls's notion of reasonableness and his argument from the burdens of judgment are insufficient bases to develop a liberal theory of justice. I then examine the idea of equality and its relationship with responsibility. Egalitarians describe the ideal of equality as the most fundamental notion for a theory of justice. They also interpret other traditions--such as the contractarian approaches of Barry and Rawls--in terms of this commitment to moral equality. Through a discussion of Ronald Dworkin's liberal egalitarianism, I argue that any plausible interpretation of moral equality must rely on an account of personal responsibility. Claims about responsibility, I argue, must be at the core of any theory of theory of justice. In the last chapter, I consider what a theory of justice should be about. I argue that the common assumption that justice is about devising principles to regulate institutions distorts how we should organize concerns of justice. Justice is about people treating each other with the respect and dignity that they are due. Problems about institutional design must be responsive to an account of individual responsibilities of justice, rather than the contemporary liberal approach of devising institutional principles prior to and with regulative primacy.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectPhilosophy.en_US
dc.subjectEconomics, General.en_US
dc.subjectPolitical Science, General.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplinePhilosophyen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorSchmidtz, Daviden_US
dc.identifier.proquest9934859en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b39652439en_US
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