Justice as a secondary moral ideal: The British idealists and the personal ethics perspective in understanding social justice

European Journal of Political Theory 10 (1):46-70 (2011)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This paper aims to show the advantages of the personal ethics perspective employed by the British idealists in the analysis of justice. In the context of Green’s and Bosanquet’s political theory, justice is a secondary moral ideal. Yet, it is argued here, their moral philosophy leads us, through a longer path, to the philosophical grounds we already occupy today: those of thinking about human rights as fundamental, not derivative, i.e. thinking about justice as a primary, not secondary moral ideal. There are three related yet distinct philosophical claims here. First, the British idealists saw clearly the stand-off between justice and virtue. Second, the personal ethics of Green and Bosanquet, with some reconstruction offered here, outlines the way in which this stand-off can be resolved without undermining its significance. Third, the personal ethics perspective is beneficial for resolving some of the difficulties surrounding the institutional approach of implementing of social justice



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 77,952

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

15 (#707,643)

6 months
1 (#485,425)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

National responsibility and global justice.David Miller - 2008 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 11 (4):383-399.
Republicanism.Philip Pettit - 2000 - Mind 109 (435):640-644.
Freedom as antipower.Philip Pettit - 1996 - Ethics 106 (3):576-604.

View all 15 references / Add more references