It is a common approach in contemporary political philosophy to view society as a system of mutually beneficial cooperation. This cooperation is difficult to achieve, often requiring a great deal of bargaining and compromise. Agreement is facilitated by principles of social justice, which determine the terms of reasonable compromise. And yet the application of these principles is also constrained by the scope of the cooperative system, which results in outcomes that often fall short of our ideals. Cooperation and Social Justice explores a set of issues that arise in this uncomfortable region, lying between our utopian ideals and the pragmatic constraints imposed by society.
In six previously unpublished essays, philosopher and award-winning author Joseph Heath explores the connection between principles of justice and the institutional arrangements required to achieve them. Topics include the feasibility of socialism, objections to profit under capitalism, the significance of status inequality, the question of open borders and immigration, the stigmatization of self-control failure, and debates over racial inequality in the United States. Ultimately, Cooperation and Social Justice reveals that one cannot think about questions of social justice without also taking seriously the institutional arrangements through which they may or may not be realized.
About the author
JOSEPH HEATH is the director of the Centre for Ethics at the University of Toronto, as well as a professor in the department of philosophy and the School of Public Policy and Governance. He is the author of five books, including The Rebel Sell: Why the Culture Can’t Be Jammed (with Andrew Potter) and Filthy Lucre: Economics for People Who Hate Capitalism. He lives in Toronto.
Other titles by Joseph Heath
Philosophical Foundations of Climate Change Policy
The Machinery of Government
Public Administration and the Liberal State
Morality, Competition, and the Firm
The Market Failures Approach to Business Ethics
Following the Rules
Practical Reasoning and Deontic Constraint
Why The Culture Can't Be Jammed
Economics for People Who Hate Capitalism
Nation of Rebels
Why Counterculture Became Consumer Culture
The Efficient Society
Why Canada Is As Close To Utopia As It Gets