A 2009 publication.

Starts with the question: what is fair? The broader question being, what is justice?

P19 three approaches to defining and framing justice: welfare, freedom, virtue. “this book explores the strengths and weaknesses of these three ways of thinking about justice.”

The book examines various theories of philosophy: Kant, Rawls, Aristotle.

Cites theoretical questions to real-life situations as examples to explain how these philosophies of framing justice has been applied (largely western societies).

E.g. If you are on a runaway trolley and you have a choice: let the trolley run its course and it will run over three other people in its path. Or veer the trolley off its path where it will kill one other person but spare the other three.

How does one explain that somehow putting one other person in harm’s way is worth the lives of three? Or, would you be less at fault if you choose not to do anything.

P87 examining the thinking behind a conscript Vs volunteer army. One view is that conscription is an imposition of an individual’s right not to serve (freedom). But on the other hand a volunteer army is not entirely voluntary since the motivation is pay. Which a question arise of whether military service is a civic duty (equality) or the non-serving citizens have abdicated this duty to others.

We seem to have a collective morale sense. E.g. in times of supply shortage, when is it considered ‘price gorging’? Is “insanely high prices” unjust per se? Most of us feel it is exploitation and taking advantage of others when they are down, that’s what I think we feel strongly against. But there is a way to also explain such intuitive reactions using philosophical theories.

The book gave me the intellectual vocabulary to discuss the idea of what is Justice; to be able to articulate what seem to be intuitive and subjective. For instance moral contracts, autonomy and reciprocity in social and business contracts.

See http://www.justiceharvard.org

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