What is the difference between a claim of justice and any other kind of moral claim?

ouc purple square logo

The Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics are hosting a lecture on 'What is the difference between a claim of justice and any other kind of moral claim?' with Samuel Bruce (University of Oxford). In moral and political thought, claims are frequently made in the name of justice. Claims are made in the name of other concepts; charity, efficiency, community, care, and so on. But what is special about justice? What is the difference between an injustice and other forms of moral wrongdoing?

I seek to do three things in this presentation. Firstly, to show that there is considerable disagreement and unclarity on this issue in contemporary political philosophy. Secondly, to present a three-stage methodology for conceptual clarification. Thirdly, to demonstrate the application of this methodology to the concept of justice. I suggest, tentatively, that justice might be understood as a moral standard which assesses the extent to which an institutional order protects rights. I will finish by expressing some of my own scepticism about this conclusion, and suggest avenues for further research.


About the speaker

Samuel Bruce is completing a DPhil in Politics at St. Cross College, Oxford. He studied for his undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences at University College Maastricht and the University of California, Berkeley, before coming to Oxford to complete an MPhil in Political Theory. His work focuses on the intersection of philosophy and social science.



Please book your place online here.


Medical Humanities

Contact name: Rachel Gaminiratne
Contact email: rachel.gaminiratne@philosophy.ox.ac.uk
Audience: Open to all