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The Harvard Review of Philosophy

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published on June 10, 2017

Naomi Zack

Starting from Injustice
Justice, Applicative Justice, and Injustice Theory

Political philosophers have traditionally focused on justice and regarded equality as an ideal despite its lack of factual support; normative universal human equality is a new, twentieth-century regulative moral construct. The theoretical focus on justice overlooks what most people care about in reality—injustice. In modern democratic society, formal or legal equality now co-exists with real inequality. One reason is that justice is not applied to all groups in society and applicative justice––applying justice to those who don’t now receive it––is a remedy. But injustice theory also includes other forms of injustice such as legal, humanitarian, and injustice without blame or responsibility.

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