(0) items

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

The Idea of Justice



Pub. Date:
Harvard Univ Pr
List Price: $27.00

Rent Textbook



Only two copies
in stock at this price.

Buy Used Textbook

In Stock Usually Ships in 24 Hours.

Buy New Textbook

Special Order: 1-2 Weeks


We're Sorry
Not Available

More New and Used
from Private Sellers
Starting at $13.79

Questions About This Book?

Why should I rent this book?

Renting is easy, fast, and cheap! Renting from can save you hundreds of dollars compared to the cost of new or used books each semester. At the end of the semester, simply ship the book back to us with a free UPS shipping label! No need to worry about selling it back.

How do rental returns work?

Returning books is as easy as possible. As your rental due date approaches, we will email you several courtesy reminders. When you are ready to return, you can print a free UPS shipping label from our website at any time. Then, just return the book to your UPS driver or any staffed UPS location. You can even use the same box we shipped it in!

What version or edition is this?

This is the Reprint edition with a publication date of 5/31/2011.

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any CDs, lab manuals, study guides, etc.
  • The Used copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included.
  • The Rental copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. You may receive a brand new copy, but typically, only the book itself.


Social justice: an ideal, forever beyond our grasp; or one of many practical possibilities? More than a matter of intellectual discourse, the idea of justice plays a real role in how-and how well-people live. And in this book the distinguished scholar Amartya Sen offers a powerful critique of the theory of social justice that, in its grip on social and political thinking, has long left practical realities far behind.The transcendental theory of justice, the subject of Senrs"s analysis, flourished in the Enlightenment and has proponents among some of the most distinguished philosophers of our day; it is concerned with identifying perfectly just social arrangements, defining the nature of the perfectly just society. The approach Sen favors, on the other hand, focuses on the comparative judgments of what is "more" or "less" just, and on the comparative merits of the different societies that actually emerge from certain institutions and social interactions.At the heart of Senrs"s argument is a respect for reasoned differences in our understanding of what a "just society" really is. People of different persuasions-for example, utilitarians, economic egalitarians, labor right theorists, noshy;-nonsense libertarians-might each reasonably see a clear and straightforward resolution to questions of justice; and yet, these clear and straightforward resolutions would be completely different. In light of this, Sen argues for a comparative perspective on justice that can guide us in the choice between alternatives that we inevitably face.

Author Biography

Amartya Sen, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics, is Lamont University Professor at Harvard University. His many books include Rationality and Freedom (Harvard).

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Acknowledgementsp. xxi
Introduction An Approach to Justicep. 1
The Demands of Justice
Reason and Objectivityp. 31
Rawls and Beyondp. 52
Institutions and Personsp. 75
Voice and Social Choicep. 87
Impartiality and Objectivityp. 114
Closed and Open Impartialityp. 124
Forms of Reasoning
Position, Relevance and Illusionp. 155
Rationality and Other Peoplep. 174
Plurality of Impartial Reasonsp. 194
Realizations, Consequences and Agencyp. 208
The Materials of Justice
Lives, Freedoms and Capabilitiesp. 225
Capabilities and Resourcesp. 253
Happiness, Well-being and Capabilitiesp. 269
Equality and Libertyp. 291
Public Reasoning and Democracy
Democracy as Public Reasonp. 321
The Practice of Democracyp. 338
Human Rights and Global Imperativesp. 355
Justice and the Worldp. 388
Notesp. 417
Name Indexp. 451
Subject Indexp. 462
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

Please wait while the item is added to your cart...