Chapter

Justice and Desert

Geoffrey Cupit

in Justice as Fittingness

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780198238621
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679698 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198238621.003.0002
Justice and Desert

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This chapter shows that the language of desert provides an idiom in which to discuss substantive questions of justice. To accept justice as fittingness is to accept that to treat people justly requires no more than that they be treated in accordance with their deserts. The chapter begins with an account of desert itself, and the grounds for viewing the concepts of desert and justice as closely related. It then discusses what is required for treatment to be in accordance with desert, considers some reasons which might be offered for avoiding employing the notion of desert, and argues that such reasons are unpersuasive. The chapter concludes by noting the problem cases for the claim that justice requires only treatment according to desert. By implication, these are the problem cases for defending justice as fittingness. Two important problem cases for justice as fittingness are promises and qualification under some general rule or practice.

Keywords: justice; desert; fittingness; status; contribution; compensation; treatment; qualification; promises

Chapter.  11718 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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