By Tom Campbell (auth.)
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Such egalitarianism is routinely contrasted with justice, presumably because justice is in part concerned with distinguishing between persons and groups and justifying their differential treatment. Egalitarianism is at most one possible substantive view of justice and cannot therefore be regarded as essential to the concept of justice itself. Indeed it is arguable that justice, given its connection with merit or desert, in practice presupposes the prima facie correctness of inegalitarian treatment.
Certainly it is not the case that justice by definition requires legal expression and protection. Justice features as a standard for judging distributions within families, educational establishments and economic units, in ways which are by and large outside the ambit of the law. Thus, although the use of legal mechanisms to ensure that people receive that which is their due is for some theorists a paradigm of what justice is about, it must be a mistake to give such a restrictive interpretation of 'due' in this context.
A more forceful form of treating equals equally is that, in any distributive situation, all persons should be given equal consideration. This is usually taken to mean that each person's interests are given equal weight, so that, whatever the relevant distributive criteria, the effect of their application on each individual is taken into account in proportion to its degree. This is the dogma, attributed by J. S. 58). Your pleasure is as important as mine and my desires are of equal moral significance to those of any other person.
Justice by Tom Campbell (auth.)