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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

Cover of Goode on Commercial Law

Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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Justice, Luck and Knowledge

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S.L. HurleyUniversity of Warwick

ISBN13: 9780674010291
ISBN: 0674010299
Published: June 2005
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Format: Hardback
Price: Out of print

Key contemporary discussions of distributive justice have formulated egalitarian approaches in terms of responsibility. In this view, the aim of egalitarianism is to respect differences between positions for which people are responsible while neutralizing differences that are a matter of luck. But this approach, Hurley contends, has ignored the way our understanding of responsibility constrains the roles it can actually play within distributive justice. Her book brings the articulation of responsibility to bear in explaining these constraints. While responsibility might help specify what to distribute, it cannot tell us how to distribute. Thus, Hurley argues, responsibility cannot tell us to distribute in an egalitarian pattern in particular. It can, however, play other important roles in a theory of justice, in relation to incentive-seeking behaviour and well-being. Hurley's book proposes a bias-neutralizing approach to distributive justice that places responsibility in these less problematic roles.

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