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UNIT-5 Debates on Justice | STUDYSHIP MA NOTES

Hi students, welcome to #studyship . From this onwards ,I'm starting publishing notes MA (Political Science) Programme for the paper-1 #DebatesinPoliticalTheory of #delhiuniversity. These notes are not restricted to use for only DU students, if you feel the content is same for your paper. Feel free to use it. So let's explore🤩


Introduction: Debates on justice form the cornerstone of moral, ethical, and philosophical discussions. These debates delve into diverse perspectives, spanning consequentialism and deontology, notions of fairness, communitarian and feminist interpretations, and global justice, exploring varying approaches to addressing ethical and societal dilemmas.

a. Consequentialist vs. Deontological (Utilitarian's, Rawls)

Consequentialist Views:

  • Principles: Focuses on the outcomes or consequences of actions as the basis for evaluating their moral worth.

  • Utilitarianism: Upholds the greatest good for the greatest number as the guiding principle, prioritizing overall societal welfare.

  • Debates: Critiques revolve around potential injustices to minorities or individuals' rights for the sake of maximizing general happiness.

Deontological Views:

  • Principles: Emphasizes adherence to moral rules or duties, irrespective of their outcomes, based on principles of inherent rights or moral laws.

  • Rawlsian Deontology: Focuses on justice as fairness, ensuring equal basic liberties and fair opportunities for all.

  • Debates: Critiques focus on rigidity in moral rules and potential conflicts when duties clash, leading to ethical dilemmas.

b. Justice as Fairness (Rawls)

Rawlsian Theory:

  • Principles: Focuses on justice as fairness, where a just society is one that individuals would accept behind a "veil of ignorance," unaware of their position.

  • Two Principles: Equal basic liberties for all and fair opportunities irrespective of social status or background.

  • Critiques: Criticized for its abstractness, challenges in practical implementation, and potential limitations in addressing certain social inequalities.

c. Communitarian and Feminist Conceptions (Walzer, Sandel, Okin)

Communitarian Views:

  • Principles: Emphasizes the importance of community values, cultural norms, and traditions in shaping justice.

  • Walzer's Spheres of Justice: Justice defined by cultural context, with different social spheres having different principles of distribution.

  • Critiques: Challenges in reconciling individual rights with community values; potential imposition on individual freedoms.

Feminist Perspectives:

  • Principles: Feocuses on addressing gender-based injustices and societal structures that perpetuate gender inequality.

  • Sandel and Okin: Emphasize the need to reframe justice to address gender biases and ensure equal opportunities for all genders.

  • Critiques: Criticisms on the lack of intersectionality in some feminist approaches, overlooking the complexities of other identity-based injustices.

d. Global Justice (Thomas Pogge)

Global Justice Theories:

  • Principles: Concerned with addressing global poverty, inequality, and injustices at a global scale.

  • Pogge's Approach: Emphasizes rectifying global institutional structures that perpetuate poverty and unequal distribution of resources.

  • Critiques: Challenges in implementing global justice theories due to issues of sovereignty, practicality, and global power dynamics.

Conclusion: Debates on justice encompass varied philosophical, ethical, and sociopolitical dimensions, reflecting diverse perspectives on ethical dilemmas and societal inequalities. Balancing consequentialist and deontological perspectives, understanding justice as fairness, incorporating communitarian and feminist viewpoints, and addressing global justice challenges are pivotal in shaping ethical frameworks, policy formulations, and societal norms toward creating more just and equitable societies. Striking a balance between individual rights, community values, gender equality, and global redistributive justice is crucial in navigating contemporary moral and societal challenges.

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