Distributive Justice and the Capability for Effective Autonomy

Garrett Wallace Brown

in Grounding Cosmopolitanism

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780748638819
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652822 | DOI:
Distributive Justice and the Capability for Effective Autonomy

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This chapter attempts to derive some key normative principles inherent in a Kantian scheme of distributive justice. To do so, this chapter looks at Kant's conception of external freedom and social welfare, relating them to a cosmopolitan concern for global justice. It argues that Kant's freedom of autonomy (co-legislation) demands a robust theory of distributive justice in order to provide a political environment that supports the effective autonomy of individuals in a hypothetical kingdom of ends. The chapter further explores a possible relationship with Martha Nussbaum's capability theory, suggesting that Kant's distributive principles might be best expressed through a form of the capability approach. Lastly, the chapter draws connections between contemporary cosmopolitan arguments for global justice and Kant's overall cosmopolitan concerns.

Keywords: distributive justice; Kant; external freedom; social welfare; global justice; effective autonomy; Martha Nussbaum; capability theory

Chapter.  15440 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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