Practice-Based Justice: An Introduction

Raisons Politiques 51:7-42 (2013)
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The purpose of this introduction is two-fold. First, it is to provide readers unfamiliar with the debates on practice-dependence with the insight necessary to fully comprehend the different contributions to this volume. Second, it is to make readers already well versed in practice-dependence more sensible to the substantive nature of this view and to provide them with a workable typology. After establishing a first distinction between metaphysical, relational and practice-dependent conceptions of justice, I draw a line, among practice-dependent views, between institutionalism and cultural conventionalism. I complete the typology by differentiating between three forms of institutionalism according to how they regard the institutional fact, namely the fact that individuals are always already placed in a state of submission to existing institutions. Whereas de facto institutionalism describes this fact as a mere factual reality which imposes itself upon human beings, de jure institutionalism regards it as a practical necessity that stands in need of justification to each and every individual. Finally, moral institutionalism accounts for the institutional fact in terms of moral duty , namely the duty to contribute to the emergence of a state of affairs in which everyone’s freedom of choice is respected.
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