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Responsibility for Justice
When the noted political philosopher Iris Marion Young died in 2006, her death was mourned as the passing of "one of the most important political philosophers of the past quarter-century" (Cass Sunstein) and as an important and innovative thinker working at the conjunction of a number of important topics: global justice; democracy and difference; continental political theo ...more
Hardcover, 193 pages
Published January 19th 2011 by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published 2006)
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A work of political philosophy advocating for a view of justice framed by global responsibility. Young shows how an account of justice framed by personal guilt or liability is inadequate when we start to discuss the reality of structures and institutions. Instead, Young puts forward that we must begin to consider justice through the lens of future-oriented responsibility with an emphasis on our actions having ramifications that contradict our own values. This connection-al model of justice is ca ...more
I really appreciate Young's distinction between guilt and responsibility and, similarly, between a liability model of responsibility for injustice and a social connection model. In discussions about injustice, it is easy to get caught up in whether I, as an individual, am at fault for the ills of the world. Young describes this perspective as unproductive. Rather than trying to place blame for great social injustices that transcend individuals, we can realize that we have a social connection to ...more
Contemporary theories of justice typically focus on the problem of distribution and what John Rawls calls the "core institutions" of a well-ordered, democratic society. Young's book argues for expanding justice beyond basic social institutions to the "structure" of society. In doing so, she addresses the difficult question of collective responsibility for unjust social circumstances. Through a critical reading of Hannah Arendt's views on collective responsibility, Young engages and criticizes th ...more