Family and Marriage: Institutions and the Need for Social Goods

Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 97 (1):221-247 (2023)
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Abstract

Institutions, if unjust, ought to be reformed or even abolished. This radical Rawlsian thought leads to the question of whether the family ought to be abolished, given its negative impact on the very possibility of delivering equality of life chances. In this article, we address questions regarding the justice of the family, and of marriage, and reflect on rights, equality, and the provision of social goods by institutions. There is a temptation to justify our social institutions in terms which highlight their universal accessibility and benefits. But we may best understand the claim of some of our most important institutions where we recognize that they are forms of social good which may legitimately benefit some without having to benefit all. Their abolition is unjustified where there is sufficient value in them given our collective needs that it is unreasonable for some to refuse the means to maintain and promote these goods.

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Author Profiles

Veronique Munoz-Darde
University College London
Mike Martin
University College London

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References found in this work

A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
Justice, Gender and the Family.Susan Moller Okin - 1989 - Hypatia 8 (1):209-214.
Where the Action Is: On the Site of Distributive Justice.G. A. Cohen - 1997 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 26 (1):3-30.

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