The Idea of Justice, published in 2009, is a major philosophical work by
Amartya Sen. It offers a critique of the theory of social justice that has long left practical realities
far behind. As opposed to the transcendental theory of justice identifying perfectly just social arrangements,
Sen favours focusing on the comparative judgments of what is “more” or “less” just, and on the comparative
merits of different societies that actually emerge from certain institutions and social interactions.
At the heart of Sen’s argument is a respect for reasoned differences in our understanding of what a “just
society” really is. Therefore, a comparative perspective on justice can guide us in the choice between
alternatives that we inevitably face.This symposium brings together eleven internationally acclaimed scholars
who have debated and put forth their views on Sen’s idea of justice, further contributing new ideas to the
nature of social justice.