Legal Theory Systems

Download Equality and Responsibility by Christopher Lake PDF

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By Christopher Lake

How should still items be dispensed in our society? a few say both, others say in keeping with what individuals are answerable for. either principles appear believable yet neither inform the total tale. the writer examines what attracts us to those principles and appears at fresh makes an attempt through egalitarian thinkers to carry them jointly in one distributive excellent.

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Sample text

Again, this resemblance draws us, unwittingly, towards the idea that there is some deeper or more substantial relation between the two sorts of claim. All of which suggests that we should resist any attempt to define the problem away and thereby to account for the significance of responsibility to arguments about justice by way of a conceptual analysis of the idea of justice itself. It is simply not clear to me that there exists a straightforward logical relation between the two in the way that certain thinkers suggest.

From which it follows, of course, that if the interpersonal conception fails, so too does the rest of the argument. The objection to inequalities on the basis of their causes is also vulnerable to challenge. To show that it is objectionable for some to be worse off than others due to the presence of wrongdoing or the absence of personal responsibility we have to do more than point to the peculiar moral standing of wrongdoing and responsibility and their relevance to issues of distribution. We have to tie concerns about wrongdoing and responsibility to the issue of inequality in particular—if we do not, then we have no more reason, under this heading, to concern ourselves with inequalities than we do to concern ourselves with equalities.

This may, however, serve to reinforce the impression that claims about responsibility have to them a curmudgeonly, not to say niggardly, tone. Certainly, appeal is often made to individual responsibility as a distributive 36 EQUALITY AND RESPONSIBILITY criterion when our thoughts turn to the matter of how human life should be regulated and restricted and human action checked and kept in order. Indeed, it is common enough for claims about responsibility to be invoked where something has gone wrong or some bad state of affairs has arisen.

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