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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 11 Nov. 2009
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This review is from: The Idea of Justice (Hardcover)
Having greatly enjoyed Mr Sen's lectures at university 25 years ago, I was disappointed by this. Maybe it's because I now consider myself a 'lay' reader out of practice with the extreme theoretical tone of many philosphical papers.

It would assist his view, with which I concur, that just outcomes are more likley after wide public scrutiny of ideas, if the book was more publicly accessible. He spends too long countering a wide variety of other philosophers' ideas, rather than in seeking to illustrate how the application of his own theories would lead to different actual practical recommendations.

He is rightly critical of approaches that rely on a perfect 'transcendental' idea of just institutions and says we need to focus on actual outcomes. To me the book is at its best when he uses real examples of dilemnas. How much more powerful would it be to set out examples of many more real ethical dilemnas and suggest how the recommendations he believes would emerge from his approaches would differ from competing theories of justice.

Overall, it comes across as a long theoretical discussion of topics related to justice rather than a coherent theory in its own right.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Jan 2010 16:38:15 GMT
N. Smith says:
Thank you for writing a critical review that actually helped me understand something about the book! I'm very disappointed with the standard of many of the other reviews and their comment threads for this book.
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