Circumstances of justice : a reformulation
Taylor, Ashley Elizabeth
MetadataShow full item record
In this thesis I explore an alternative formulation of the circumstances of justice. The circumstances of justice are the circumstances that make human cooperation necessary and possible, and because human cooperation is necessary to justice, they make justice both necessary and possible. For constructivists, principles of justice respond to these circumstances. Standard accounts of the circumstances of justice can be found in Hobbes, Hume, and Rawls, and many contemporary theorists rely on these accounts. My dissertation rejects these standard accounts of the circumstances of justice—on the grounds of exclusion and trust—and defends an alternative account. A core idea of my proposed alternative is that the circumstances of justice must be understood in terms of solidarity. A proper understanding of the role of solidarity in an adequate characterization of the circumstances of justice requires a good grasp of the nature of solidarity itself. To that end I offer a novel account of solidarity which I argue improves existing theories of solidarity. In the first part of this project I explain the role and importance of the circumstances of justice. I then offer a full description of solidarity and its normative character. In the second half of the project I offer my new account of the circumstances of justice, including an explanation and examples of how broad the scope of this reformulation is. I conclude the project by applying my new account of the circumstances of justice to the problem of climate change, and ask whether we can now construe the coordination of resources between generations as a problem of justice.