University of Cambridge > > Workshop on Poverty and Development > JOHN RAWLS AND JUST PRICES


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It is a familiar idea to justify competitive price systems with regard to their efficiency, to the freedoms they entail and to the possibility of redistribution elsewhere in the entire arrangement of political economy. A particular version of this argument can be found in John Rawls’ by now classical “A Theory of Justice”, and elsewhere in Rawls’ works. The presentation will scrutinize Rawls’ version of the argument. It presents competitive market prices as being fully compatible with a just arrangement of political economy and of society’s institutional structure as a whole. The talk will identify three fundamental problems where this strategy still seems to fail. These problems will at the same time be related to a more general concern with the political philosophy of prices, beyond the Rawlsian framework.


Dr Arne Moritz is a lecturer in philosophy at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg and a Research Associate of the Von-Hügel-Institute (Capability and Sustainability Centre). He has published widely in various fields, including medieval philosophy, political philosophy, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of gardens. Dr Moritz spends the academic year 2007/8 at the CSC , funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). His research is currently focused on the political philosophy of prices.

This talk is part of the Workshop on Poverty and Development series.

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