What Do We Deserve?: A Reader on Justice and Desert (Routledge Advances in International)

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9780195122183: What Do We Deserve?: A Reader on Justice and Desert (Routledge Advances in International)
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The concept of desert, which once enjoyed a central place in political and ethical theory, has been relegated to the margins of much of contemporary theory, if not excluded altogether. Recently a renewed interest in the topic has emerged, and several philosophers have argued that the notion merits a more central place in political and ethical theory. Some of these philosophers contend that justice exists to the extent that people receive exactly what they deserve, while others argue that desert should replace such considerations as rights, need, and equality as the basis for distributions. Still others argue that morality involves a fitting match between one's moral character and a degree of happiness. All of these positions have encountered opposition from egalitarians, libertarians, and those who are skeptical about the coherence of the concept of desert.
The first anthology of its kind, What Do We Deserve? is a balanced collection of readings that brings sharply opposing positions and arguments together and stimulates debate over the meaning and significance of desert in current thought. The book begins with eight classical readings on desert (by Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Smith, Kant, Mill, Sidgwick, and Ross), and later turns to contemporary interpretations of the issue. The selections examine the concept itself, analyze its relationship to the ideas of freedom and responsibility, engage in the debate between John Rawls and his critics on the merits of desert, and, finally, study the wider role and significance of desert in political and ethical theory.

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About the Author:

Louis P. Pojman is at United States Military Academy, West Point. Owen McLeod is at Yale University.

Review:

"An excellent anthology. Its selections will serve, I hope, to introduce students to the Rawlsian controversy once they have read Rawls, and to appreciate the role of desert more broadly. The readings seem nicely blended in degree of difficulty for students of varying backgrounds."--Louis
Guenin, Harvard Medical School

"Extremely well balanced and judicious choices. All major positions are well represented."--Allen Howard Podet, Buffalo State College

"Very interesting approach to moral philosophy--almost a looking-glass approach to virtue ethics."--Manuel Davenport, Texas AandM University

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Pojman, Louis P. and Owen McLeod, Editors / Contributors: Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Adam Smith, Kant, Mill, W.D. Ross, Joel Feinberg, John Kleinig, David Miller, Julian Lamont, Galen Strawson, Harry Frankfurt, David Miller, Fred Feldman, Herbert Spiegelberg, John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Michael Sandel, Owen McLeod, Samuel Scheffler, Michael A. Slote, Norman Daniels, Robert Goodin, Robert Young, Fred Feldman, Owen McLeod, Louis Pojman, Shelly Kagan
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