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In the past few decades social changes have impacted how we understand justice, as societies become both more multicultural and more interconnected globally. Much philosophical thought, however, seems to proceed in isolation from these developments. While philosophers from Plato onwards have portrayed justice as an abstract, universal ideal, Miller argues that principles of justice are always rooted in particular social contexts, and connects these ideas to the changing conditions of human life. In this important contribution to political philosophy, it is argued that philosophers need to pay more attention to the way that people actually think about what's fair, and only defend principles that are feasible to apply in the real world. To understand equality of opportunity, for example, we must explore the cultural constraints that people face when presented with life choices. Justice for Earthlings also explains how national boundaries make justice at global level different from social justice.Read more
- Puts forward a theory of social justice that connects it to the way that societies actually function and the way people actually think about what's fair
- Explores the implications of cultural differences within societies for our understanding of social justice
- Examines the relationship between social justice and global justice, and explains what makes nation-states special as sites of social justice
Reviews & endorsements
"Any reader of Miller's essays who, like me, is not a philosopher, is likely to be struck by the subtlety and sophistication of the philosophers' arguments."
London Review of BooksSee more reviews
"Justice for Earthlings offers an engaging analysis of a wide range of pressing normative issues. The book is first and foremost a strong plea for theories of justice that are not just theoretically sophisticated but practically relevant. Justice has an important place in the human form of life, and is of more than just theoretical interest. This message can only be applauded."
Sem de Maagt, Economics and Philosophy
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- Date Published: February 2013
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107028791
- length: 260 pages
- dimensions: 234 x 155 x 16 mm
- weight: 0.54kg
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. Political philosophy for Earthlings
2. Two ways to think about justice
3. Social justice in multicultural societies
4. Liberalism, equal opportunities and cultural commitments
5. Equality of opportunity and the family
6. Justice and boundaries
7. Social justice versus global justice?
8. 'Are they my poor?': The problem of altruism in a world of strangers
9. Taking up the slack? Responsibility and justice in situations of partial compliance
10. A tale of two cities, or political philosophy as lamentation.
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