When Knowing What Is Just and Being Committed to Achieving it Is Not Enough

Conference Paper

In this article, I argue that overly-optimistic beliefs about how much progress toward justice has been made and overly-pessimistic beliefs about what progress toward justice can be made can both help perpetuate injustices. Further, such beliefs can help perpetuate injustices even if those who hold them have a firm grasp of the correct principles of justice, a robust commitment to realize them, and the political influence to make their commitment effective. I also argue that when mistaken beliefs about justice of either sort are embedded in ideologies, they are an especially serious obstacle to moral progress. Finally, I conclude that ideologies can help perpetuate injustices even if they do not ‘mask’ them, if they include either overly-optimistic or overly-pessimistic beliefs about progress toward justice.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Buchanan, A

Published Date

  • November 1, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 38 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 725 - 735

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1468-5930

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0264-3758

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/japp.12536

Citation Source

  • Scopus