The fact that Kant does not articulate a theory of distributive justice has not kept political philosophers from citing Kant as inspiration and support for whatever theory of distributive justice they favor - including those who argue that the notion of distributive justice is itself mistaken. This widespread reliance on Kant invites the question, "Does the Doctrine of Right imply a theory of distributive justice?"
To address this question, we discuss Paul Guyer's argument that Kant's Doctrine of Right implies, roughly, the principles of distributive justice as found in Rawls's justice as fairness. Guyer's argument is that Kant's theory of property implies a contractualist theory of distributive justice; in turn, this implies that the distribution of property rights must be fair, and that fairness is secured only by something like Rawls's second principle of justice.
Copyright © 2018 Cambridge University Press. This chapter first appeared in Kant on Freedom and Spontaneity.
Edited by Kate A. Moran
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Nance, Michael, and Jeppe von Platz. "From Justice to Fairness: Does Kant's Doctrine of Right Imply a Theory of Distributive Juistice?" In Kant on Freedom and Spontaneity, edited by Kate A. Moran, 250-268. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018.