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date: 16 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Justice requires giving people what they deserve. Or so many philosophers—and according to many of those philosophers, everyone else—thought for centuries, until the 1970s and 1980s, however, perhaps under the influence of Rawls’s desert-less theory, desert was largely cast out of discussions of distributive justice. Now it is making a comeback. This chapter considers recent research on the concept of desert, debate about the conditions for desert, arguments for and against its requital, and connections between desert and other distributive ideals. It suggests that desert-sensitive theories of distributive justice, despite the challenges they face, have a promising future.

Keywords: desert, distributive justice, luck egalitarianism, neutrality, Rawls, responsibility, retributive justice

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