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What is the Idea of Justice?
Keith Dowding
Amartya Sen’s ‘The Idea of Justice’ suggests that transcendental theories of justice do not give full recognition to the plurality of values. He suggests that there is no universal theory of justice but that different societies will work out their own accounts if they allow deliberative and democratic procedures to flourish. I argue that in order for deliberation and democracy to promote justice and to allow the full plurality of values, some universal features of transcendental theories are required. These are the enlightenment principles of reason. I argue that Sen’s position is very close to those of the transcendental theories he critiques.

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