Libertarians such as Nozick and Hayek define justice in procedural terms. Nozick takes for granted the liberal idea of property, but in fact this is historically contingent and other conceptions of property are equally valid. He also relies on Locke's theory of property acquisition, but Locke's account is best understood as grounded in desert, which does not yield a proprietary theory of justice. Hume's view of justice and property avoids the problems of Locke's, but has conservative implications. Hayek defines justice in terms of rule following, but fails to explain satisfactorily what should guide the choice of rules. Finally, the idea of social justice is defended against several libertarian objections.
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