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Social justice: Hayek and Sen facing Rawls. An unexpected methodological closeness

Justice sociale: Hayek et Sen face à Rawls. Une proximité méthodologique inattendue

Claude Gamel

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Abstract: Through their methods for studying social justice, Rawls, Hayek and Sen are each situated on the summit of a triangle, where "comparatism" of the latter stands at equal distance from "contractualism" of the first former and from "evolutionism" of the second one (1). Nevertheless, when the position of the philosopher is used as a landmark, both economists seem to develop analyses which are strangely near enough to each other: in spite of quite different conclusions (2), a first convergence appears about their positions which are really opposed to Rawlsian contractualism (3). More basically, Hayek's and Sen's thought processes appear to be comparable, because they are both pragmatic (4). The fact that their opposed results might stem from so near methods designs a paradox, which has still to be confirmed by further studies (5).

Keywords: social justice; methods; contractualism; evolutionism; comparatism; Justice sociale; comparatisme; contractualisme; évolutionisme; méthodes (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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Published in Cahiers d'Economie Politique = Papers in political economy, 2013, 65, pp.69-96. ⟨10.3917/cep.065.0069⟩

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DOI: 10.3917/cep.065.0069

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