- 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
Constructivism and intuitionism are often seen as opposed methods of justification in political philosophy. An “ecumenical” view sees them as different but unopposed: each style of reasoning can yield fundamental principles, for different questions of distributive justice, and we can rightly take up different questions, with different, equally valid, theoretical objectives, in hopes of cultivating a thousand blooming flowers. This chapter develops this position with special interest in Rawls’s constructivism, his treatment of reflective equilibrium, self-evidence, and “moral geometry,” and his evolving dialogue with the intuitionist Henry Sidgwick. Rawls’s main difference from Sidgwick lies in the way he frames the question of right or justice in the first instance. This brings out both the possibility and the attractions of the ecumenist conception in political philosophy.
Aaron James is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine. He is author of Fairness in Practice: A Social Contract for a Global Economy (OUP 2012) and numerous articles on meta-ethics, moral theory, and political philosophy. He has been an ACLS Burkhardt Fellow, a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, and Visiting Professor of Philosophy at New York University.
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