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Distributive Justice

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A Teaching Topic in Ethics and Accountability

Distributive Justice

This teaching topic deals with the question of how the wealth and resources of a society should be distributed among its members. Students are asked to consider the extent to which governments should explicitly attempt to reduce the income and wealth disparities that exist in market economies. In this teaching topic, students are introduced to historically significant thinkers on these and related issues including John Rawls and Milton Friedman.

Recommended Reading (Harvard University, DPI 201): 

John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (2nd edition; Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999): pp 52-70.

Milton Friedman, “The Distribution of Income” from Capitalism and Freedom (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962): pp 161-66.

Liam Murphy and Thomas Nagel, The Myth of Ownership, chapters 1 (pp. 3-11) and 7 (pp 142-161).

Brian Barry, Why Social Justice Matters, pp 169-230.

Will Kymlicka, “Liberal Equality,” Sections 1-3, in Contemporary Political Philosophy, 2nd Edition (2002), pp 53-75.  

Will Kymlicka, “Libertarianism,” Sections 1-2, in Contemporary Political Philosophy, 2nd Edition (2002), pp 102-127.

Source: Harvard University, DPI 201 Syllabus.

Page Created By: Ben Eisen,  August 15, 2013. The content presented on this page is drawn directly from the source(s) cited above, and consists of direct quotations or close paraphrases.

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© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance