- 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
This chapter addresses several debates concerning needs and distributive justice, and argues that the debate between egalitarians and sufficientarians has not been as productive as it could have been. The issue is not whether we should prefer equality or sufficiency, but rather what is the proper role for each in an account of distributive justice. Several prominent debates concerning needs and distributive justice are also addressed. Among needs-theorists there is convergence on what counts as a need and the needs claims that give rise to appropriate claims of justice. There is a role for needs to play in distributive justice that does not displace concern with several neighboring concepts such as desert or equality. Though there are several ways of interpreting the advice to distribute “to each according to his needs,” some important guidance on how to establish priorities among different needs claims is also available.
Gillian Brock is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and currently also a Fellow at the Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University. Her most recent work in Philosophy has been on global justice and related fields. Her books include Debating Brain Drain (OUP 2015 with Michael Blake), Cosmopolitanism versus Non-Cosmopolitanism (OUP 2013), Global Heath and Global Health Ethics (CUP 2011), Global Justice: A Cosmopolitan Account (OUP 2009), and Necessary Goods: Our Responsibilities to Meet Others’ Needs (Rowman & Littlefield 1998). She also has many interdisciplinary interests, some of which lie at the intersection of philosophy and public policy. For instance, during 2013–2015 she took up a fellowship from the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University to research institutional corruption.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.