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Justice, justification and self-respect

McKinnon, Catriona; (1999) Justice, justification and self-respect. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This thesis explores the role of self-respect in liberal justification and debates about justice. It is argued that self-respect depends on doing certain things with the right self-conception, and thus that there are two sorts of ways in which political institutions and procedures governing the distribution of goods can impede the development of self-respect: by damaging the conditions of self-respect supporting action, and by undermining self-conceptions without which putative self-respect supporting action is impotent. With respect to questions of liberal justification, acceptance or rejection of opportunity for self-respect as a criterion of justice does not settle hard metaethical questions about the extent to which political justification should mirror moral truth. Nevertheless, positing self-respect as a justificatory value helps in clarifying what is at issue between the two dominant positions. Perfectionism and Neutralism. With respect to justice-related questions about liberty and group membership, appeal to opportunity for self-respect allows for a fine-grained distinction between different sorts of groups, which supports an unequal distribution of the right to exclude consistent with the priority of liberty. With respect to distributive justice, appeal to opportunity for self-respect recommends a sufficiency approach to the distribution of economic goods qua social basis of self-respect, and suggests the adoption of unconditional basic income as policy.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Justice, justification and self-respect
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest
Keywords: Social sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10103437
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