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About this product
- DescriptionIn theory and practice, the tion of fairness is far from simple. The principle is often elusive and subject to confusion, even in institutions of law, usage, and custom. In Fairness, Nicholas Rescher aims to liberate this concept from misunderstandings by showing how its definitive characteristics prevent it from being absorbed by such related conceptions as paternalistic benevolence, radical egalitarianism, and social harmonization. Rescher demonstrates that equality before the state is an instrument of justice, t of social utility or public welfare, and argues that the tion of fairness stops well short of a literal egalitarianism. Rescher disposes of the confusions arising from ecomists' penchant to focus on individual preferences, from decision theorists' concern for averting envy, and from political theorists' sympathy for egalitarianism. In their place he shows how the idea of distributive equity forms the core of the concept of fairness in matters of distributive justice. The coordination of shares with valid claims is the crux of the concept of fairness. In Rescher's view, this means that the pursuit of fairness requires objective rather than subjective evaluation of the goods being shared. This is something quite different from subjective equity based on the personal evaluation of goods by those laying claim to them. Insofar as subjective equity is a concern, the appropriate procedure for its realization is a process of maximum value distribution. Further, Rescher demonstrates that in matters of distributive justice, the distinction between new ownership and preexisting ownership is pivotal and calls for proceeding on very different principles depending on the case. How one should proceed depends on context, and what is adjudged fair is pragmatic, in that there are different requirements for effectiveness in achieving the aims and purposes of the sort of distribution that is intended. Rescher concludes that fairness is a fundamentally ethical concept. Its distinctive modus operandi contrasts sharply with the aims of paternalism, preference-maximizing, or ecomic advantage. Fairness will be of interest to philosophers, ecomists, and political scientists.
- Author BiographyNicholas Rescher is University Professor of Philosophy and vice chairman of the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. He has written more than seventy books in various areas of philosophy.
- Author(s)Nicholas Rescher
- PublisherTaylor & Francis Inc
- Date of Publication31/01/2002
- Place of PublicationSomerset
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintTransaction Publishers
- Weight366 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine13 mm
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