Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-7ccbd9845f-wr4x4 Total loading time: 0.375 Render date: 2023-01-31T13:14:09.459Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

6 - Justice and the market

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 November 2009

Duncan B. Forrester
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
Get access

Summary

In the previous chapter we considered the account of justice propounded by John Rawls. This saw justice as the central value in a decent society, shaping both behaviour and social institutions. Rawls is concerned with processes and institutions as well as outcomes. He believes that a just society reflects a belief in human equality and that society should have a special concern for the poor and the weak. Justice gives guidance on the distribution of advantages, responsibilities and liabilities within a society. As far as possible, a just society should set right the unjust outcomes of social institutions and strike an acceptable balance between liberty and equality. We also saw that Rawls's account of justice does not claim to be rooted in the nature of things or in any specific metaphysical or religious beliefs. Rather, it is an articulation and refinement of what most people in a modern liberal democracy believe; it rests on what he calls an ‘overlapping consensus’.

Despite the problems that we discussed in the previous chapter, it is not hard to see why Rawls's theory of justice has become something of a prevailing orthodoxy among left-of-centre politicians and policy-makers in America, Britain and some other western democratic societies. In the aftermath of the apparent collapse of the varied socialist ideologies, Rawls seems to provide an alternative theoretical framework which is less grandiose, but capable of providing a defence of the extension of the social experiments of the New Deal, the welfare state and so forth. It seems to sustain some central socialist values while setting aside the Utopian expectations and the suspect accounts of history and of human perfectibility which gave an unreal skew to much socialist reflection.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1997

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)
1
Cited by

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Justice and the market
  • Duncan B. Forrester, University of Edinburgh
  • Book: Christian Justice and Public Policy
  • Online publication: 02 November 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511605628.011
Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Justice and the market
  • Duncan B. Forrester, University of Edinburgh
  • Book: Christian Justice and Public Policy
  • Online publication: 02 November 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511605628.011
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Justice and the market
  • Duncan B. Forrester, University of Edinburgh
  • Book: Christian Justice and Public Policy
  • Online publication: 02 November 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511605628.011
Available formats
×