Fuchsia has written an intriguing book on social injustice. It’s a combination of twelve essays, ten written over the duration of 2000-2008 and two written specially for this volume. He covers a wide a range of subjects through his essays to show how social injustice is present in the society. A thought-provoking essay on torture has been co-authored by Jean Maria Arraign. Another one is a response to his critics (Matthew Effeteness and Eddie Holland) on political ‘skepticism’.
Several essays touch on practical reason and moral psychology, but there is an account of grass-roots elaborative democracy amongst indigenous Mayans in Guatemala and a discussion to the reactions of the Downs ‘paradox of voting. The first essay of the book is ‘making sense of social Justice’. This a beautifully written essay, finding the difference between social Justice and social injustice. According to the author “social injustice is not merely the lack of social Justice” (p. 1) as many political philosophers like Rails believe.
The absence of injustice (in relation to Justice) in many texts and ideologies seems to displease the author. This was a provocative piece clearly explaining why social injustice is prevalent and ubiquitous in our society. The lacunae of injustice can be corrected by a three dimensional definition of social injustice, by viewing injustice as maladministration, exclusion, and disembowelment. (p. 10) Conflating injustice with mere inequality is seen as a common error in literature by the author. (p. 0) The underlying concern of the book is summed up in the claim that ‘The point of political philosophy is not merely to create an arena where professional academics and students can play an increasingly sophisticated intellectual game, which is as highly stimulating as it is insignificant. ‘ (p. 7) He says that the point of political philosophy is to expose and rectify social injustice (p. 17). In the essay on Why political philosophy matters’ he focuses on Brian Parry’s works and contributions. The influence on the author due to Barry is evident, since he got his PH.
D under the supervision of Barry. He even defends Parry’s ideas on skeptical democracy. The claim that political impartiality with respect to claims concerning the nature of the good life requires citizens to adopt a measure of skepticism towards their own ethical beliefs. Fuchsia claims that in a world characterized by ethical pluralism ‘it is imperative for lattice democracy to embrace a political definition of skepticism’ (p. 123) In most of his essays the author critiques the works and ideologies of other known political philosophers (like Marx, Giddiness, Hobbes, etc. . While focusing on exploitation he assesses that Marx view on the same was narrow (only focusing on economic exploitation), he argues that there are two forms of exploitation including morally degrading and economic exploitation. The desire to humiliate others is not irrational but comes from the inborn characteristic of exploiters to identify with power. (p. 55) His thesis on torture and terrorism contains a provocative set of ideas. The Rule-And- Exception Argument proposed by Jeremy Beneath is used to see if torture can be used as exception in extreme circumstances. P. 61) This being summarized as the ticking-bomb argument is in dominance in the essay. Henry She, Bernard Cert., Richard Poster support this rule and exception argument (p. 61). But the ticking- bomb argument falls prey to deductive fallacy and consequential fallacy (p. 64). The scenarios. These examples helped in showing how social injustice is predominant in the field of voting. His essay on motivating Justice and Justice, equality, liberty barely mentioned the concept of social injustice.
Emphasis is given more on defining and explaining the concepts of equality and liberty than bringing out the injustices involved in these stances. This topic of social injustice has not been examined thoroughly. Hence the author is one of the few people who has shown interest in it. Lack of social Justice does not imply social injustice as many have presumed. Although the author brings out important points for explaining social injustice he doesn’t really state ways in which this injustice can be annihilated or even mitigated.
He “does not tell us how to get to our destination”. It starts out with a lot of promise but the follow up chapters are lacking in living up to this. He is biased and he criticizes many great political philosophers without adequate reasoning or explanations. I would nonetheless recommend this book, to readers who are inclined to the idea of social injustice as a separate entity, its causes and existence. It is a compelling and thought-provoking book on political philosophy which clearly explains this theory which does work different to that of the normative theory of Justice.