Economic Justice in Political Theory

Liam Murphy and Thomas Nagel

in The Myth of Ownership

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195150162
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833924 | DOI:
 Economic Justice in Political Theory

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Once we abandon the idea that justice in taxation is a matter of determining a fair share of tax burdens, we must ask what the legitimate ends of government are, and what the legitimate means of pursuing those ends are, particularly insofar as they involve the taxing power. Is the legitimate role of government limited to the provision of public goods, or does it include providing benefits for (worse-off) people and promoting equality of opportunity or welfare? Consequentialist and deontological theories of social justice provide importantly different approaches to these and other questions that stand behind tax policy--such as the moral standing of the market, the importance of individual responsibility, and the proper understanding of the moral value of liberty.

Keywords: government; legitimacy; public goods; equality of welfare; equality of opportunity; consequentialism; deontology; market; responsibility; liberty

Chapter.  12877 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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