Will the Real Principles of Justice Please Stand Up?

In Kevin Vallier & Michael Weber (eds.), Political Utopias: Contemporary Debates. Oxford University Press (2017)
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Abstract
This chapter develops a ``nesting'' model of deontic normative principles (i.e., principles that specify moral constraints upon action) as a means to understanding the notion of a ``fundamental normative principle''. I show that an apparently promising attempt to make sense of this notion such that the ``real'' or ``fundamental'' demands of justice upon action are not constrained by social facts is either self-defeating or relatively unappealing. We should treat fundamental normative principles not as specifying fundamental constraints upon action, but as specifying basic criteria for comparatively evaluating and ranking possibilities.
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Archival date: 2016-02-02
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