Summary outline of Sen’s The Idea of Justice
Do you ever do that thing where you cite a particular seminal work so frequently that you think you know it so well but you actually sort of forget the finer argument? It’s incredibly embarassing, not to mention counter-productive, if you get caught out. (!) As I am laying the foundations for my doctoral research on data justice, I am working through some literature reviews on big concepts to help frame the direction of work. The idea is to set a good base to stop that kind of thing from happening. If it can be useful for you, I share here a 4 page summary outline of Sen’s ‘The Idea of Justice’ , an important treatise on what justice is and how to acheive it.
Summary in 3 lines:
- A theory of justice needs to be useful in order to judge how to reduce injustice.
- Most theories of justice focus on what ‘the perfectly just world’ would look like, negating point #1. We need a comparative approach considering the lives people actually lead.
- Justice requires impartiality, which requires a certain objectivity and rationality, especially public rationale, therefore need public discussion and democracy as ‘government by discussion’.