Department of Philosophy



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cover of A Conceptual Investigation of Justice

Recent PhD student Kyle Johannsen has just published a revised version of his dissertation as a book, A Conceptual Investigation of Justice.

Kyle calls for renewed attention to the manner in which the word ‘justice’ is and should be used. Focusing on the late work of G.A. Cohen, Kyle argues that debates over both the content and scope of egalitarian justice are, to a large extent, really just conceptual. Whereas some philosophers have been using the term ‘justice’ to refer to one among a plurality of values, others have been using it to refer to institutional rightness. Though the latter use of ‘justice’ is presently more dominant, he argues that much is to be gained from thinking of justice as one value among many. Doing so sheds light on the nature of both democracy and legitimacy, and, paradoxically, makes better sense of the idea that justice is ‘the first virtue of institutions’. 

Kyle did his dissertation working with Christine Sypnowich. He is currently Visiting Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Department at Trent University.

Kyle Johannsen