Chapter

The Scope of Impartial Justice

Matt Matravers

in Justice and Punishment

Published in print August 2000 | ISBN: 9780198295730
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599828 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198295731.003.0005
 The Scope of Impartial Justice

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Having argued that theories of punishment need to be embedded in wider moral theories, this chapter considers impartial theories of justice, such as those offered by Rawls and Barry. These aspire to give an account of the justification of the use of public power that does not depend on any particular, comprehensive conception of the good. By considering the relationship of impartial justice and morality, and testing the scope of impartial theories of justice, an argument is constructed to show that impartialist theory cannot give an account of the kind of rules relevant to punishment within the constraints of justificatory neutrality.

Keywords: Brian Barry; good; impartialism; justice; morality; neutrality; punishment; John Rawls

Chapter.  13919 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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