Justice in Private: Beyond the Rawlsian Framework
Law & Philosophy (2017 Forthcoming)
24 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2014 Last revised: 11 Jul 2017
Date Written: July 9, 2017
This article argues against the wholesale collectivization of the responsibility for doing justice and defends, in its stead, the important place of private individuals in realizing some of the demands of justice (beyond those associated with preserving formal freedom and equality). We claim that the demands of justice can implicate (in the appropriate sense) private individuals in particular and not merely the state. Certain facts concerning the human condition — the existence of personal differences and the fundamental significance of interdependence — warrant the view that the more substantive liberal understandings of freedom and equality are just as crucial in our horizontal relationships as they are in our vertical ones. A normatively defensible conception of relational justice must therefore cast interpersonal interactions in terms of accommodative frameworks of relationships between free and equal individuals who respect each other as the persons they actually are.
Keywords: justice, relational equality, freedom, private law, responsibility, accommodation
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