Political Science Answer Writing Practice 2018 - Week 1 - Question 5
90 Days Political Science Answer Writing Practice Question 1 for 16-Nov-2018
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16-Nov-2018 - Question 1
Explicate the conception of justice in the critiques of communitarian theorists. (2014) - 250 words
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Justice is a moral virtue establishing rational order and a collective name for the most important social utilities, which are conducive to fostering and protecting human liberty. According to Tom Campbell, Justice is the central and commanding concept of current mainstream normative political philosophy. Rawl’s book, “Theory of Justice” has started what has been rightly called as golden age in theorizing about justice. Communitarians are the person who give preference to community over individual.
Communitarians inspired by Charles Taylor and Hannah Arendt argued that individuals are always embedded in a network of social relationships, never the social isolated that liberalism assumes, and they have obligations to the community. Liberalism conception of individual as atomistic, abstracted or self-interested was criticized by communitarians as colossal mistake.
Michael Sandels in "Liberalism & limits of Justice" said while defining Justice, idea of good should precede Right unlike Rawls who called Rights prior to good & good within boundary of Rights. For Sandels, State need not be neutral but should promote conception of good which is beneficial to society. He calls Justice not as the art of integration, but art of differentiation. Sandels calls Rawls as highly individualistic and biased for describing concept of absolute Justice based on value system of USA.
Michael Walzer in "Spheres of Justice" recognises politics of differences and neglecting it will lead to homogenization which is detrimental to conception of Justice. He gave concept of Complex Equality: "Different goods ought to be distributed differently" in criticism of simple equality adopted by Rawls which says one size fits all. He says different spheres of Rights have different formula for Justice as no grand theory of justice exists. Hence, Justice is culture-specific concept. Walzer conceived a “post-liberal state” that accepted moral membership in a community as the greatest good and had a concern for the issue of complex equality.
Rawls in second book “Political Liberalism” responded to his Communitarian critics by wrestling with the problem of cultural heterogeneity within liberal states. Hence, conception of Justice by communitarians was significant and in alignment with globalized times where multi-cultural societies are gaining ground.