This chapter begins by introducing some distinctions that will structure our thinking about distributive justice. Although not all of the distinctions will be to the forefront of all that follows in this chapter, all are in play at some point. These preliminary matters are tackled briskly in the first section. The second section analyzes three indirect arguments about the relation between private law and distributive justice and culminates with some speculation about why such arguments are more common than direct arguments. That speculation leads directly to the fulcrum of the third section. It examines an argument which, if successful, pre-empts all talk about a relation between distributive justice and private law. The fourth section analyses two examples of the direct argument and inter alia assesses how well they deal with this pre-emptive objection.
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