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Transcendental vs. Comparative Approaches to Justice : A Reappraisal of Sen’s Dichotomy

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  • Ragip Ege
  • Herrade Igersheim
  • Charlotte Le Chapelain

Abstract

In The Idea of Justice, Sen describes two competing approaches to theorizing about justice: “transcendental institutionalism,” in which he includes Rawls, and “realization-focused comparison,” in which he includes Condorcet and himself. This paper questions the robustness of his dichotomy through an examination of the works of Condorcet, Rawls, and Sen himself. We show that none belongs exclusively to either tradition. Further, we claim that an appeal to the concept of metaranking, developed by Sen in the 1970s, enables us to overcome the distinction between the transcendental and the comparative traditions and in the last instance to reconcile the two approaches.

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Paper provided by Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg in its series Working Papers of BETA with number 2012-15.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ulp:sbbeta:2012-15

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  1. Ingrid Robeyns, 2012. "Are transcendental theories of justice redundant?," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 159-163, June.
  2. Claudia Curi & Cinzia Daraio & Maria Patrick Llerena, 2012. "University Technology Transfer: How (in-)efficient are French universities?," DIS Technical Reports 2012-02, Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza".
  3. Julien Pénin, 2012. "Motivation crowding-out: Is there a risk for science?," Working Papers of BETA 2012-13, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  4. Meixing Dai, 2012. "Static and Dynamic Effects of Central Bank Transparency," Working Papers of BETA 2012-08, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  5. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Liberty, Unanimity and Rights," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 43(171), pages 217-45, August.
  6. H. Dewachter & R. Houssa & P.R. Kaltwasser, 2011. "Introduction," Review of Business and Economic Literature, Intersentia, vol. 56(4), pages 378-382, December.
  7. Olivier Cardi & Romain Restout, 2012. "Unanticipated vs. Anticipated Tax Reforms in a Two-Sector Open Economy," Working Papers of BETA 2012-01, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  8. Claude Gamel, 2010. "QUE FAIRE DE « L'APPROCHE PAR LES CAPACITES » ? Pour une lecture « rawlsienne » de l'apport de Sen," Working Papers halshs-00519630, HAL.
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