Richard Rorty Responds

Richard Rorty Responds

I do not see why Steven Lukes thinks that the left’s “pursuit of a commitment [to fighting injustice] . . . can be recognized only because it has advanced successive but distinctive visions or theories of justice and of the structure of power that made clear in what injustice consists and who were weak or why.” I should have thought that it has always been a lot clearer who the weak are, and who is trying to improve their lot, than what justice consists in, or what structure power has.

I see definitions of justice as ways of bundling concrete proposals together, rather than as justifications for, or incitements to formulate, such proposals. Surely our sense of injustice is sufficiently roused by the simple thought, “Things don’t have to be this way; they could be that way instead.” For example: The cotton doesn’t have to be picked by slaves,

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