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Conceptual Analysis and Distributive Justice

28 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2013 Last revised: 25 Jul 2014

Matthew H. Kramer

Churchill College, Cambridge University; University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law

Date Written: June 1, 2013

Abstract

This paper, written for the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Distributive Justice, ponders several understandings of conceptual analysis in the context of debates over distributive justice. The paper's first three main sections consider the concept/conception distinction in its multi-layered complexity in a couple of prominent recent accounts of justice. It explores how those theories of justice unfold over several levels of increasing specificity. Thereafter, the paper takes up the vexed question whether expositions of the concept of justice can ever be austerely analytical or formal rather than morally value-laden. After distinguishing between value-independence and value-neutrality, the paper argues that -- although some possible accounts of justice are at least partly value-neutral -- no accounts of justice are ever value-independent.

Keywords: justice, distributive justice, Rawls, Dworkin, Hillel Steiner, conceptual analysis, concepts, political philosophy

JEL Classification: K4, K49

Suggested Citation

Kramer, Matthew H., Conceptual Analysis and Distributive Justice (June 1, 2013). University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 15/2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2277549 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2277549

Matthew H. Kramer (Contact Author)

Churchill College, Cambridge University ( email )

Trinity Ln
Cambridge, CB2 1TN
United Kingdom
44-1223-336231 (Phone)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

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Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

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