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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 128484 Find in a Library
Title: Faces of Injustice
Author(s): J N Shklar
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 144
Sponsoring Agency: Yale University Press
New Haven, CT 06520
Publication Number: ISBN 0-300-04599-9
Sale Source: Yale University Press
92a Yale Station
New Haven, CT 06520
United States of America
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book formulates a new political and moral theory of injustice that encompasses not only deliberate acts of cruelty or unfairness, but also indifference to such acts and to misfortunes not caused by human agents.
Abstract: The author draws on the writings of Plato, Augustine, and Montaigne, three skeptics who gave the theory of injustice its main structure and intellectual force as well as on political theory, history, social psychology, and the work of authors as diverse as Rousseau, Dickens, Hardy, and Doctorow. The book argues that rigid rules cannot be set to distinguish instances of misfortune from injustice, as do most theories of justice, because such definitions do not address historical variability and differences in perception and interest between victims and spectators. From the victim's perspective, whether the victimization results from an earthquake or social discrimination, injustice must include not only the immediate cause of disaster, but also the refusal of persons and institutions to prevent and mitigate damage ("passive injustice"). This broader definition of injustice calls for greater responsibility from both citizens and public servants in dealing with the suffering of others. The book argues that the best impulses of democracy require that society listen to victims' perceptions of their suffering, its causes, and how it may be relieved. Chapter notes and a subject index (Publisher summary modified)
Main Term(s): Legal liability
Index Term(s): Jurisprudence
Note: Storrs Lectures on Jurisprudence at Yale Law School, 1988
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