Questionable Motives

September 28, 2009

Justice Theory

Filed under: Culture,Literature,Philosophy,Politics,Religion — tildeb @ 1:28 pm

Suppose three children—Anne, Bob, and Carla—quarrel over a flute. Anne says it’s hers because she’s the only one who knows how to play it. Bob counters that he’s the poorest and has no toys, so the flute would at least give him something to play with. Carla reminds Anne and Bob that she built the darn thing, and no sooner did she finish it than the other two started trying to take it away.

What is the most just resolution to this dispute?

From an article in The Chronicle about a new book by Amartya Sen, we are given yet another notion how to define what justice is – what it should look like in action.  “Reasoning,” writes Sen early on, “is a robust source of hope and confidence in a world darkened by murky deeds.” Indeed, I think it is the only source.

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