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Justice Without Morality?

SAPRAI, P; (2004) Justice Without Morality? Masters thesis , University of Oxford.

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My thesis tries to understand the claim that justice has priority over other values. In chapter one, I define justice. In particular I distinguish justice from morality, a concept with which it is often confused, on the ground that justice has a special concern with questions relating to the allocation of goods to others. I also discuss whether we can have more than one concept of justice. Especially important is whether a utilitarian (or more broadly a consequentialist, or, broader still, eventist) ethical outlook can account for justice. I claim that it cannot. Chapter 2 of my thesis deals with the assumption that justice is a distinct value. If that assumption proves to be false, then, arguably, the claim that justice has priority over other values makes no sense. I argue that the assumption is true. Chapter 3 of the thesis deals directly with the question: ‘does justice ever have priority over other values?’ I argue that our intuitions and the way that we use words, for example, the way in which we associate law with justice, suggest that justice has priority over other values at least in certain contexts. I argue that justice has priority over other values in allocative settings, such as, for example, adjudicative settings. This is because where one is faced with competing claims one cannot but be just or unjust, for one cannot but act with an eye to allocation. Acting with an eye to allocation is the paradigmatic way in which acts are just or unjust and people are constituted just or unjust kinds of people.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Title: Justice Without Morality?
Event: University of Oxford
UCL classification: UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences
UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Laws
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1318728
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