For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Self-Determination As Principle of Justice"

by Young, Iris Marion (1979)


The paper defines and defends a principle of collective self-determination as one of the principles of the ordering of a just society. That principle specifies that individuals participate equally in the making of decisions which will govern their actions within institutions of special cooperation. The paper adopts the strategy of arguing to principles of justice by asking what principles would be chosen in Rawls' original position. It argues that, contrary to the thrust implicit in Rawls and other liberal thinkers, persons in the original position would have no basis for distinguishing between political and non-political institutions of social cooperation, and thus would choose the principle of self-determination directly as applying to all institutions and activities of social cooperation.


Rawls, Self-Determination, Justice, Original Position, Cooperation


Autonomy, Political Theory

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