Why Distributive Justice Is Impossible but Contributive Justice Would Work

Science and Society 80 (1):31-55 (2016)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Distributive justice, defined as justice in distribution of income and wealth, is impossible. Income and wealth are distributed either unequally or equally. If unequally, then those with less are unjustly subject to social contempt. But equal distribution is impossible because it is inconsistent with bargaining to advance our own good. Hence justice in distribution of income and wealth is impossible. More generally, societies where social relations are mediated by money are necessarily unjust, and Marx was wrong to think a socialist society which retained money would lead to communism. Contributive justice proposes that each flourishes by advancing the flourishing of others. To achieve this goal all labor, both simple and complex, must be shared among all capable of doing it. The good of contributing our abilities to benefit others is then available to all non-competitively.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
Archival date: 2016-09-08
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
782 ( #7,045 of 64,219 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
97 ( #6,303 of 64,219 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.