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Chapter Summary
Definition of Key Terms
Reward and punishment in relation to justice
Reward and punishment will be discussed in the context of justice.
Elements of justice
Several elements of justice apply to reward and punishment.
What justice involves
How should we distribute justice, i.e. good and bad, right and wrong, reward and punishment on
a just and fair basis?
Concern with past events
Justice concerned with the past, what has been done rather than what might or perhaps will be
done? Rewards and punishments, of course, affect the future.
Individualistic rather than collectivistic
Individuals rather than groups are punished or rewarded. Punishing groups can lead to injustice.
Comparative injustice
Deals with comparisons of treatment in terms of rewards and punishment.
Rewards can be distributed in four ways:
1. Equally without regard to ability or merit
2. According to ability
3. According to merit or desert
4. According to needs
Criteria for rewarding people
Egalitarian criterion or equal distribution of goods and rewards
Equal distribution without regard to ability or merit. Example of Swedish hospital and kidney
dialysis. How to decide who gets dialysis when need surpasses ability to provide. What criteria
are applicable? Is a lottery the most fair and ethical means of deciding?
Problems with equality of distribution
Egalitarian method ignores merit, ability, need, etc. Should those with differing aptitudes, skills,
abilities be treated the same? Equality of consideration if they have other Attributes – race, sex,
religion, age, handicap – to what extent are these important factors? Are people really equal?
Copyright © 2009 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.