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Balancing choice and circumstance - fair shares and just access in liberal justice

Murray, Matthew Cameron 2010. Balancing choice and circumstance - fair shares and just access in liberal justice. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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This dissertation assesses how liberal theories of justice balance the ideas of choice and circumstance and why these explanations fall short. This dissertation will show how we can progress naturally from libertarian intuitions about moral agency through to a developed liberal account of justice. I will work through the theories of Robert Nozick, John Rawls, Ronald Dworkin and Philippe Van Parijs. By assessing these theories I will argue that liberal justice can balance the concern for individual choice and circumstance appropriately but that this requires specific developments of the liberal position. I will argue these developments are an understanding of fair shares in the prefaced but necessary market present in liberal theories in order to honour individual choices. This argument will lead us to endorse a specific conception of taxation based upon resources rather than end-results. The second development I argue for is the implementation of the Principle of Just Access to respect the moral agency of the handicapped. I will argue that in order to honour the choices of the handicapped properly, an account of liberal justice must prioritize compensation through a Principle of Just Access. The dissertation will conclude by asserting the potential validity of some of Van Parijs' institutional claims. I will show that although Van Parijs presents an incomplete liberal argument, we can defend many of his positions, particularly his arguments for universal basic income and resource rents, through a properly developed account of liberal justice. I present this account and show why a conception of fair shares within the market and the Principle of Just Access make this account unique and necessary.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:29

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