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New Perspectives on Distributive Justice

Deep Disagreements, Pluralism, and the Problem of Consensus

Ed. by Knoll, Manuel / Snyder, Stephen / Şimsek, Nurdane

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November 2018
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Stuart Hampshire and the Case for Procedural Justice

Giorgini, Giovanni


This essay examines the notion of procedural justice elaborated by the British philosopher Stuart Hampshire. It reviews Hampshire’s intellectual biography, showing the influence of Aristotle and Spinoza on the development of his thought. From Aristotle Hampshire derived the idea that moral theory should focus on the problems of moral agents and their view of the good life; from Spinoza he derived the importance of passions in politics and the view that human freedom depends on the knowledge of the reasons for our actions. Through an intellectual path in which the notion of freedom plays a fundamental role (freedom of mind, freedom of the individual, freedom and imagination), Hampshire arrived at the conclusion that moral and political conflict will always be inevitable because it results from the faculty of imagination, which enables human beings to elaborate a personal image of the good life. However, the faculty of reason unites human beings in the recognition of the great evils of mankind (starvation, imprisonment, death) and paves the way to a view of procedural justice as adversarial argument: when conflict arises, the reasonable solution is to find an umpire who listens to the opposed, conflicting arguments according to the maxim audi alteram partem.

Citation Information

Giovanni Giorgini (2018). Stuart Hampshire and the Case for Procedural Justice. In Manuel Knoll, Stephen Snyder, Nurdane Şimsek (Eds.), New Perspectives on Distributive Justice: Deep Disagreements, Pluralism, and the Problem of Consensus (pp. 91–108). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110537369-006

Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110537369

Online ISBN: 9783110537369

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/BostonGet Permission

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