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Responsibility and Distributive Justice$
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Carl Knight and Zofia Stemplowska

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199565801

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199565801.001.0001

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Mad, Bad, or Faulty? Desert in Distributive and Retributive Justice 1

Mad, Bad, or Faulty? Desert in Distributive and Retributive Justice 1

Chapter:
(p.136) 6 Mad, Bad, or Faulty? Desert in Distributive and Retributive Justice1
Source:
Responsibility and Distributive Justice
Author(s):

Matt Matravers (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199565801.003.0007

This chapter argues that the way people are has a profound effect on what they do. As a result, we have reason to question attributions of desert and responsibility to them. The problematic nature of desert in relation to natural attributes is an accepted part of Rawlsian theorizing. Having considered John Rawls's account of desert in distributive justice, the chapter proceeds by asking whether an analogous account can be given of retributive justice. Scheffler denies that it can because, he argues, distributive and retributive justice are asymmetrical. The chapter aims to refute Scheffler's argument and then to consider the consequences for our understanding of desert in retributive justice.

Keywords:   desert, justice, punishment, John Rawls, responsibility, Scheffler

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