Recognition as Redistribution: Rawls, Humiliation and Cultural Injustice

Critical Horizons 15 (3):284-305 (2014)
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This paper aims to explore and examine the implied commitment to the premises of recognition in Rawls’s account of redistributive justice. It attempts to find out whether or not recognition relations that produce humiliation and cultural injustice can be followed to their logical conclusion in his theory of redistribution. This paper makes two claims. Firstly, although Rawls does not disregard the harms of misrecognition as demonstrated in his notion of self-respect being the most important primary good, he cannot liberally accommodate the idea of humiliation as a case of injustice without compromising the basic premises of his theory. Secondly, while resource distribution produces indirect side effects that can impact upon cultural injustice, addressing recognition issues through the prism of redistribution can inadvertently result in further misrecognition. The paper concludes that in the final analysis Rawls wrongly takes redistribution as the overarching principle of justice to which recognition is but a subservient principle.



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Towards a principle of most-deeply affected.Afsoun Afsahi - 2020 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 48 (1):40-61.

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References found in this work

A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Philosophy 63 (243):119-122.
Two kinds of respect.Stephen L. Darwall - 1977 - Ethics 88 (1):36-49.

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