Summary of Justice or Fairness Approach Focuses on how fairly or unfairly our actions distribute benefits and burdens among the members of a group. Fairness requires consistency in the way people are treated. http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/decision/approach. html http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/decision/approach. html
Summary of Justice or Fairness Approach The principle states: "Treat people the same unless there are morally relevant differences between them." Examples of what is offered as morally justifiable reasons for treating people differently: need, merit, effort, fault, etc.
Justice and Fairness Example: http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/decision/justice.html
Who Influenced the Development of Justice and Fairness?
Individual that contributed to the Fairness and Justice approach: John Rawls-Harvard philosopher (1921-2002 ) developed a conception of justice as fairness in his now classic work A Theory of Justice. He was one of the most important political philosophers in the late 20th century. http://homepage.newschool.edu/het/profiles/rawls.htm
Individual that contributed to the Fairness or Justice approach: Rawls proposed the idea of "original position", a mental exercise whereby a group of rational people must establish a principle of fairness (such as distribution of income) without knowing beforehand where on the resulting pecking order they will end up themselves. http://homepage.newschool.edu/het/profiles/rawls.ht m http://homepage.newschool.edu/het/profiles/rawls.ht m
Individual that influenced the theory: Rawls used this device to argue that the optimal arrangement will be to "maximize the welfare of society's worse-off member", which effectively justifies an egalitarian "no-substitution" social welfare function.
Individual that contributed to the justice and fairness approach: Rawls employs a number of thought experiments including the famous veil of ignoranceto determine what constitutes a fair agreement in which "everyone is impartially situated as equals," in order to determine principles of social justice. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Rawls Page 144, Text, Weston
First criticism of Justice and Fairness approach: Robert Norzick Author of Anarchy State and Utopia Construed as a response to Rawls A Theory of Justice http: enwikipedia.org/wiki/anarchy,_state,_and_utopia
Veil of ignorance Criticize it for being similar to Utilitarianism http://www.2sunysuffolk.edu/pecorip/scccweb/in tro_text/ http://www.2sunysuffolk.edu/pecorip/scccweb/in tro_text/ chapter%208%20ethics/justice_as_fairness.ht m
Current ethical dilemma: Justice is the first virtue of Institutions - John Rawls-
2 nd Ethical Dilemma Employer fights to withhold compensation Speeding officer References: Penslar Robinl, 1995. Research Ethics: cases and materials. Bloomington:Indiana University Press www.biodavidson.edu/people/kabern/indep.../theories.ht m www.biodavidson.edu/people/kabern/indep.../theories www.lldocsouth.unc.edu/H-0239/excerps
Questions to think about:
Review questions: 1) The Greek philosopher Aristotle said that equals should be treated equally and unequals unequally. Do you agree or disagree with that statement? Why?
Review Question 2 2) How would you use Justice and Fairness in your life? Explain?