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The feasibility Problem in Theorizing Social Justice

Keywords: feasibility , social justice , G. A. Cohen , Andrew Mason , Harry Brighouse , Collin Farrelly , David Miller

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Abstract:

G. A. Cohen and Andrew Mason have recently argued, against many contemporary philosophers, that feasibility is not a legitimate constraint in theorizing about social justice. Their main argument is that principles of justice are logically independent of issues of feasibility and, consequently, feasibility has no bearing on the correctness of these principles. This article is a critical examination of three attempts to show that Cohen and Mason’s argument is unsound. The examined attempts are those of Harry Brighouse, Collin Farrelly, and David Miller. I argue that all these arguments are based on false, unjustified or implausible, premises and/or assumptions. Consequently, they cannot discredit the soundness of Cohen and Mason’s argument and of the thesis that feasibility is not, in fact, a legitimate constraint in theorizing about social justice.

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