nl en

Distributive Justice


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to MA students in Philosophy.


This course aims to acquaint students with theories of justice from ancient times to the present. More specifically, it aims to acquaint students with classic theories of distributive justice, including those of Plato and Aristotle, some medieval Thomist theories, Hume, Marx, Rawls, Nozick, and some contemporary theories. Further, it aims to illuminate justice in its relation to other significant normative political concepts, such as those of liberty, political obligation, property, and justification.

Course objectives

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • historical accounts of justice from Plato onwards;

  • modern theories of justice;

  • the concept of justice, its scope and limits;

  • the broader methodology for approaching justice and theorising about it.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • understand the core tenets and assumptions of historical accounts of justice;

  • articulate and appraise historical theories;

  • grasp the content of modern accounts of justice in comparative perspective;

  • appreciate the complex links between justice and cognate concepts such as those of fairness and equality;

  • appreciate the extent to which justice structures political thinking and argument.


See Timetables Philosophy 2014-2015 , Timetables MA Philosophy 60 EC/120 EC.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required.

Course Load

To be announced.

Assessment method

  • Unseen examination (40%)

  • Assessed essay chosen from a set list of topics, 2,500 words (40%)

  • Oral presentations in class (20%)


Blackboard will be used as an online discussion forum, and for posting of the course reading list, course assignments, selected readings and online links.

Reading list

Required literature will be made available on Blackboard.


Please register for this course on uSis.
See Registration for courses and examinations

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable for courses in the column under the heading “Act.nbr”.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Prof.dr. G.F. Newey