The Idea of Justice

For mathematician, economist and philosopher Amartya Sen, justice is not merely an abstract concept – as a child he witnessed at first hand the terrible Bengal famine of 1943, in which up to 3 million people perished not because there was an absolute shortage of food, but because global and local economic conditions had suddenly made them too poor to obtain it. In his new book, ‘the most important contribution to the subject since John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice appeared in 1971’ according to Hilary Putnam, Sen takes issue with previous theories that have sought to establish what an ideally just state might be like. Instead, he argues, what we need is a way of measuring comparative justice: ‘What moves us, reasonably enough’ he writes in his preface, ‘is not the realization that the world falls short of being completely just – which few of us expect – but that there are clearly remediable injustices around us which we want to eliminate.’

Other Titles of Interest