ON THE UNIVERSALITY OF THE PRINCIPLES OF DISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE
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The question of whether 'justice' has a universal meaning or it has different meanings in various social schemes has been answered by some philosophers in opposite directions. Michael Walzer is among those who argue that principles of justice vary from one society to another in accordance with different meanings of primary goods, arising from particular historical background conditions. There is no single set of primary goods such as money, political power, social posts, and honours, whose meanings are shared across all cultures; nor are there universally shared principles of distributive justice for him. In this paper the author argues that Walzer's claim, whether distribution of social goods is just or unjust and depending on the cultural meanings of the goods, is untenable and indeed inherently flawed. He suggests that one may adopt a pluralistic approach to principles of distributive justice without being committed to Walzer's relativism.
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