Institutional Justice

Geoffrey Cupit

in Justice as Fittingness

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780198238621
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679698 | DOI:
Institutional Justice

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This chapter examines the nature of institutional justice, that is, the requirement to respect entitlements which arise from qualification under an established rule or institution. It is generally supposed that where some particular rule is in operation those who are denied that to which they are entitled under those rules are treated unjustly. How this injustice is to be explained, and whether the explanation is consistent with understanding justice as a member of the fittingness family of concepts, is addressed in the present chapter. Ignoring entitlements often involves comparative injustice for it is only some whose entitlements are ignored. The case against justice as fittingness is as bad as it can be: that the injustice of ignoring entitlements is not (or not always) to be understood as only a comparative injustice. This chapter argues that the injustice of ignoring an entitlement is to be explained as a failure to treat in accordance with desert, and thus that there is no inconsistency with justice as fittingness.

Keywords: institutional justice; entitlements; fittingness; comparative injustice; desert; rules

Chapter.  5415 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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