Cover: Justice, Luck, and Knowledge, from Harvard University PressCover: Justice, Luck, and Knowledge in PAPERBACK

Justice, Luck, and Knowledge

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$38.00 • £30.95 • €34.00

ISBN 9780674017702

Publication Date: 03/31/2005


524 pages

6 line illustrations


Exceedingly rigorous…at the same time, exceptionally reader-friendly… One of the best critical introductions to the…problem of determinism and moral responsibility on the market…[this book] deserve[s] to be read by all responsibility enthusiasts… Eye-opening and exciting…incisive…carefully crafted…ground-clearing as well as path-breaking, [it is]…from start to finish, a true masterpiece of conceptual clarity and tidiness… Shrewdly analyses the relevant concepts…defuses bothersome misapprehensions and misapplications…[and] deftly pulls together the remaining strands… Deeply thought-provoking… [Both egalitarians and inegalitarians] need to rethink their positions.—Kristjan Kristjansson, Mind

Hurley’s central thesis, that responsibility and luck-neutralization are not the basis of egalitarianism, is original and correct… To my mind, Hurley’s thesis engages with many statements that leading egalitarians have put in writing. That thesis, we should recall, is obvious only once Hurley makes her compelling argument for that thesis… The book is dense with thought-provoking ideas.—Nir Eyal, Economics and Philosophy

Hurley does a great service to the theory of egalitarianism by doing what most authors have shied away from doing so far, namely, opening the black box of ‘responsibility’ in order to examine how the various conceptions of responsibility can inform the debate about the just allocation of resources in an egalitarian society.—Marc Fleurbaey, Philosophical Books

Hurley’s book is a first-rate achievement. It is uniformly informative and clarifying.—Kaspar Lippert-Rasmussen, Philosophical Books

Hurley’s penetrating treatment of [responsibility and justice] is bound to have a considerable influence on these fields. I found her subtle taxonomy of reason-responsiveness views especially instructive, and her critique of the idea that responsibility is ‘essentially impossible’ seems to me a tour de force. Further, the defense of a ‘bias-neutralizing’ conception of justice in favor of ‘luck neutralizing’ conceptions will surely have to be reckoned with by anyone who works in these fields.—Gary Watson, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

An admirable piece of work… Hurley’s book provides a very insightful discussion of the relationship between luck and justice (among several other issues). She has done egalitarians a great service in clarifying the relation between egalitarianism and luck-neutralization.—Kaspar Lippert-Rasmussen, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

Luck-neutralization is a central concept in contemporary work on distributive justice, and thus moral responsibility is also a central concept (insofar as luck is what one is not morally responsible for). It is therefore fruitful and illuminating to apply important insights from responsibility theory to various theories of distributive justice. The book is written in a lively style, Susan Hurley is remarkably well-versed in the literature on free will and moral responsibility as well as distributive justice, and the ideas are vibrant and provocative…a path-breaking book.—John Martin Fischer, Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Riverside

Hurley’s arguments are highly original. This is an impressive and insightful book.—Peter Vallentyne, Professor of Philosophy, Virginia Commonwealth University

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