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Poverty, Justice, and Western Political Thought

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Poverty, Justice, and Western Political Thought by Vaughan, Sharon, 9780739122693
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  • ISBN: 9780739122693 | 073912269X
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Copyright: 5/30/2009
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The number of people who live in poverty has always far exceeded the number who do not. The normative question of how governments ought to treat the poor goes to the heart of the idea of justice and thus it is an essential element of political theory. Yet, there has been no formal study of the treatment of poverty in Western political thought. The chapters of Poverty, Justice, and Western Political Thought include an analysis of the main arguments of Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Rousseau, Smith, Mill, Tocqueville, Hegel, Marx, Rawls, and Nozick about the causes, effects, and solutions to the problem of poverty and how their treatments of poverty relate to the idea of a just society. This book asks: What is the relationship between poverty and justice in the state? If we are to understand the relationship between the poor and the idea of a just state in the tradition of Western political thought, then we must be able to recognize how these theorists' definitions, assumptions, and conclusions about poverty contribute to or detract from the idea of justice. At the core of this work is the claim that the demands of justice necessarily require that the political theorist engage with the problem of poverty, with the goal being to suggest some thoughtful and reasonable approaches to the problem.

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