- The Oxford Handbook of Distributive Justice
- Introduction: The Idea of Distributive Justice
- Rawls on Distributive Justice and the Difference Principle
- Dworkin and Luck Egalitarianism: A Comparison
- Equality Versus Priority
- Sufficiency and Needs-Based Approaches
- The Capability Approach
- Libertarianism, Left and Right
- Desert-Based Justice
- Retributive Justice
- The Good Society
- The Ethics of Care
- The Theory and Politics of Recognition
- Distributive Justice and Human Nature
- Political and Distributive Justice
- Consequentialism, Deontology, Contractualism, and Equality
- Ideal Theory
- Constructivism, Intuitionism, and Ecumenism
- Conceptual Analysis and Distributive Justice
- The Family
- Public Goods
- Cultural and Religious Minorities
- Justice Across Borders
- Climate Change
- Future Generations
Abstract and Keywords
Supplying public goods generates costs and benefits that can be allocated among individuals in different ways. Yet leading theories of justice within liberalism fail to offer concrete guidance on how these allocations should be assessed. This chapter critically examines a number of principles of distributive justice that might be used for this purpose. It argues that the appropriate principle will depend on whether the public goods in question are “essential public goods” (ones that are required by justice) or “discretionary public goods” (ones that are not). While a number of principles have previously been put forward for both categories, the chapter concludes that none of them are free from counter-intuitive implications. Further work is needed in order to arrive at a satisfactory way of assessing the distributive consequences of public good supply.
David Miller is Professor of Political Theory at the University of Oxford and a Senior Research Fellow at Nuffield College. His research interests include social justice, nationality, and global justice. His most recent books are Justice for Earthlings (CUP 2013) and Strangers in our Midst: The Political Philosophy of Immigration (Harvard University Press 2016).
Isaac Taylor is a Scholar in Residence at the Center for Western Civilization, Thought and Policy, University of Colorado Boulder. His research interests focus on questions surrounding global justice (especially relating to the provision of global public goods) and security policy. He is currently completing a book manuscript on the ethics of counterterrorism.
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