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Chapter 13 - From Justice to Fairness: Does Kant’s Doctrine of Right Imply a Theory of Distributive Justice?1

from Part IV - Freedom on a Bounded Sphere: Kant’s Political Philosophy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 September 2018

Kate A. Moran
Affiliation:
Brandeis University, Massachusetts
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Summary

Jeppe von Platz and Michael Nance explore the political implications of the innate right to freedom in Kant’s Doctrine of Right. In particular, they ask whether the innate right to freedom implies a theory of distributive justice. To answer this question, they investigate Paul Guyer’s argument that Kant’s theory of property in the Doctrine of Right implies a Rawlsian conception of distributive justice. Guyer’s argument for this conclusion is that Kant’s theory of property implies a contractualist theory of distributive justice that, in turn, implies that the distribution of property rights must be fair to all affected by it, and that this fairness is secured only by something like Rawls’s second principle of justice, the difference principle. Nance and von Platz question each stage in this argument. They conclude that Kant’s Doctrine of Right is compatible with, but does not require, a variety of principles of distributive justice.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2018

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