Samenvatting Justice : what's the right thing to do?

ISBN-10 0141041331 ISBN-13 9780141041339
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Dit is de samenvatting van het boek "Justice : what's the right thing to do?". De auteur(s) van het boek is/zijn Michael J Sandel. Het ISBN van dit boek is 9780141041339 of 0141041331. Deze samenvatting is geschreven door studenten die effectief studeren met de studietool van Study Smart With Chris.

Samenvatting - Justice : what's the right thing to do?

  • 1 Sandel: Justice whats the right thing to do. Ch. 1 Doing the right thing

  • What is the conclusion of Sandel regarding theories of justice?
    That ancient theories of justice start with virtue (deugd), while modern theories start with freedom. Sandel explores the strenghts and weaknesses of each. This contrast can mislead. 
  • Name shortly 4 important philosophers and their stream:
    Aristotle: tilos/categorical reasoning
    Kant: categorical reasoning
    Mill: utilitarian
    Rawls: egalitarian
  • Describe how utilitarianism, libertarians and egalitarians approach to justice regarding what are people due and why?
    -Utilitarianism: most influential account of how and why we should maximize welfare: seek the greatest good for the greatest number
    -Libertarians: The laissez-faire camp: free market libertarians who believe that justice consists in respecting and upholding the voluntary choices made by consenting adults.
    -Egalitarians: The 'fairness camp' argues that unfettered (not restricted/free) markets are neither just nor free. Justice require policies that remedy social and economic disadvantages and give everyone a fair change at success.
  • To ask whether a society is just is to ask how it distributes the things we prize (income, wealth, duties, rights, power, opportunities, offices, honors). A just society distributes these goods in the right way: it gives each person his due. The hard questions begin when we ask what people are due (verschuldigd), and why. How did Sandel wrestle with these questions?
    He pondered the rights and wrongs of price gouging (hurricane), purple heart (military), financial bailouts (financial crisis/bonus). Sandel identified 3 ways of approaching the distribution of goods: welfare, freedom, virtue. Each of these ideals suggests a different way of thinking about justice. Sandels book explorers the strengths and weaknesses of these 3 ways of thinking about justice.
  • Sandel begins with the idea of maximizing welfare. For markets societies it offers a natural starting point. Prosperity matters because it contributes to welfare. How does Sandel explorers this idea?
    To turn to utilitarianism, the most influential account of how and why we should maximize welfare or seek the greatest happiness for the greatest number (het is een richting binnen ethiek die het doel van menselijk handelen in de welvaart of het geluk van de gemeenschap legt).
  • The approach to justice that begins with freedom is a capacious (veelomvattende) school. In fact, their are 2 rival camps. Which 2? Describe them (Sandel)?
    The laissezfaire camp and the fairness camp. Laissez-faire = free-market libertarians who believe that justice consists in respecting and upholding the voluntary choices made by consenting (instemmende) adults. The fairness camp = theorists of more egalitarian (gelijkheid) bent. They ague that unfettered (onbeperkte) market are neither just nor free. In their view, justice requires policies that remedy social and economic disadvantages and give everyone a fair change at success. 

  • Plato's point is that to graps the meaning of justice and the nature of the good life, we must rise above the prejudices and routines of everyday life (vergelijking met gevangen grot en de filosoof). Whats Sandels opinion regarding this?
    He is in part right. The claims of the cave must be given their due (gevolg). If moral reflection is dialectical (if it moves back and forth between the judgments we make in situations and the principles that inform those judgments: dmv tegenstellingen de waarheid zoeken), it needs opinions and convictions, however partial and untutored, as ground and grist. A philosophy untouched by the shadows on the wall (vooroordelen?) can only yield a sterile utopia.

    > To grasp the meaning of justice and the nature of the good life, we must rise above the prejudices and routines of everyday life.
  • What does the book of Sandel provide?
    The book is not a history of ideas, but a journey in moral and political reflection. Its goal is not to show who influenced whom in the history of political thought, but to invite readers to subject their own views about
    justice to critical examination—to figure out what they think, and why.
  • Define justice (Sandel).
    How individuals should treat one another, what the law should be and how society should be organized. 
  • Explain the 3 ways of thinking about justice (Sandel).
    1. Maximizing welfare: to maximize the prosperity, improve our standard of living and spur economic growth >> utilitarianism.
    2. Respecting freedom: Markets let people choose for themselves what value to place on the things they exchange:
    > Laissez-faire: free-market (libertarians)
    > Fariness camp: egalitarians (gelijkheid nastrevend) everyone needs a fair chance.
    3. Promoting virtue: in times of trouble, a good society pulls together and people look out for each other. Greed is therefore a vice (ondeugd) that should be discouraged. But who decides what's a virtua and a vice? Often based on moral/religious ideals. 
  • The 3 ways of thinking about justice results in the great question of political philosophy. What does Sandel mean?
    Does a just society seek to promote the virtue of its citizens? Or should law be neutral toward competing conceptions of virtue, so that citizens can be free to choose the best way to live?
  • What is the opinion of ancient theories of justice? (Sandel)
    Justice start with virtue: Aristotle said that justice means giving people what they deserve thus you have to determine what is the most desirable way of life (to determine what people deserve, we have to determine what virtues are worthy of honor and reward. The most desirable way of life has to be determined. The law can't be neutral on questions of the good life/values)
  • What is the opinion of modern theories of justice? (Sandel)
    Justice start with freedom: Kant and Rawls say that a just society should not rest on any particular conception of virtue because a just society should respect each person's freedom to choose his own conception of 'the good life'.
  • Moral reflection is not a solitary pursuit (eenzaam gebeuren) but a public endeavor (publieke onderneming). Hoe does a moral reflection emerge?
    1. Opinion or conviction about the right thing to do
    2. Reflect on the reason for our conviction and seek out the principle on which it is based
    3. Confusion when we are confronted with a situation that confounds the principle
    4 Feel the force of the confusion and the pressure to sort it out > impulse to philosophy > may lead to a change of minds/revision of our judgment of the right thing to do.
  • Normative judgment: for ex. you don't like someone's tie. You have to base your judgment on a full (neutral) description of the situation. You have to set moral standards (what's good behavior/good result etc.). Does the described behavior fit in your moral standard/normative judgment. This is ethical reasoning.
  • What is the difference between ethics and law?
    A law isn't always ethical (for ex. WWII: jews could be killed according to the law, not ethical). Ethics goes beyond laws. F.e.: you don't insult people (no law, but ethical). (Business) ethics has increased, because business have grown/more power and more transparency and globalization.
  • Name the 4 reasons for business ethics:
    1 Not every company is in 1 country
    2 Technological development make people ethic aware (what's accepted?)
    3 Society is asking more from companies
    4 Because of internet there is more investigation/sharing/transparency possible
  • Describe the 3 main streams in ethics (explain with ex. of driving too hard):
    1 Consequentialism: what will be the consequences of my behavior? When the consequence is a acceptable, the behavior is acceptable
    2 Deontology (f.e. Kant): WHY is someone showing this behavior? Reasons of behavior
    3 Virtue ethics: does the behavior suit the generally accepted virtues of society

    Ex. driving too hard to save your wife:
    1 Wife is saved so it is acceptable
    2 Why you want to save her? Cheap householder or you love her? The reason determines if it is acceptable
    3 Society doesn't accept driving to hard? Then it is wrong.
  • What are normative judgments and moral standards?
    - Normative judgments: when you are asked what you think of someone’s tie, so for example that you don’t like the tie of the lecturer.
    - Moral standards: the standards on which you base your normative judgments. It is a factual description of what you are se
    eing at that moment, so for example that you like the color red and therefore like the tie. WHY do you like something?
  • Describe the 3 steps of ethical reasoning:
    1. Define what your moral standard is: what is from your point of view good behavior/results/things to follow (described in a strong and proper way).
    2. Describe as factual as possible, with all kind of relevant information, the situation you would like to change. Describe in a natural and factual way what behavior you are going to follow.
    3. Compare the description with your moral standards and then you can think of your moral judgment. This is ethical reasoning: clarify every time you give a moral judgment what kind of moral standards you would like to see.
  • What is virtue?
    Some kind of behaviour which is coming from consistent aspects of your character.
  • What are values? (also explain norms and being virtuous)
    Abstract goals you would like to realize. F.e. a tolerant society. This needs laws and legislation (norms), like no racist activities. Norms are exact formulated: what is (not) permitted/accepted/forbidden. A society is probably not tolerant when everyone obeys the rules, we need more. Aristotle started with virtue ethics, like the example with the flute.
    > You aren't born to be virtuous, you have to become one and practice. Not all the virtues are the right one. F.e. bullfighters in Spain are virtuous, in NL not: other way around with Zwarte Piet. Aristotle: social context/community decides what's accepted.

    You have to practice/get education, your circumstances are important for becoming virtuous. Your surrounding determine if your behavior is justified or moral good.
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