Theories of Distributive JusticeMain article: Distributive justice
Theories of distributive justice need to answer three questions:
- What goods are to be distributed? Is it to be wealth, power, respect, some combination of these things?
- Between what entities are they to be distributed? Humans (dead, living, future), sentient beings, the members of a single society, nations?
- What is the proper distribution? Equal, meritocratic, according to social status, according to need, based on property rights and non-aggression?
Distributive justice theorists generally do not answer questions of who has the right to enforce a particular favored distribution. On the other hand, property rights theorists argue that there is no "favored distribution." Rather, distribution should be based simply on whatever distribution results from non-coerced interactions or transactions (that is, transactions not based upon force or fraud).
This section describes some widely held theories of distributive justice, and their attempts to answer these questions.
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