Out-Kanting Rawls: An Argument for Responsibility-Sensitive Theories of Justice from an Autonomy-Based Account of Normativity

Teun J. Dekker*

*Corresponding author for this work

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When considering normative concepts, such as distributive justice, one must consider both the question how concepts can have normative force and which particular conceptions of these concepts have this normative force. In this article I consider the view that the human capacity for autonomy accounts for normativity, and argue that adopting this view commits one to a responsibility-sensitive theory of distributive justice. This conclusion puts me directly at odds with the work of John Rawls, who derives his responsibility-insensitive difference principle from a similar account of autonomy. However, I argue that such an argument would be based on a mischaracterisation of what is significant about the human capacity for autonomy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-372
JournalDialogue: Canadian philosophical review / revue Canadienne de philosophie
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009

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