The paper draws on a conceptual analysis of justice in discussing the power of rational choice justifications of conceptions of justice. It is argued that the concept of justice can be reduced to two independent moral dimensions. From this conceptual thesis a simple conceptional criterion is derived which any powerful theory of justice must satisfy. An attempt is made to use this fundamental criterion in evaluating a wide variety of rational choice theories of justice. It is shown that there is but one variant of the rational choice approach which in substantiating principles of justice does not violate this criterion.
© 1995 by Lucius & Lucius, Stuttgart