Axiomatic Foundations for Metrics of Distributive Justice Shown by the Example of Needs-Based Justice

Alexander Max Bauer

Abstract


Distributive justice deals with allocations of goods and bads within a group. Different principles and results of distributions are seen as possible ideals. Often those normative approaches are solely framed verbally, which complicates the application to different concrete distribution situations that are supposed to be evaluated in regard to justice. One possibility in order to frame this precisely and to allow for a fine-grained evaluation of justice lies in formal modelling of these ideals by metrics. Choosing a metric that is supposed to map a certain ideal has to be justified. Such justification might be given by demanding specific substantiated axioms, which have to be met by a metric. This paper introduces such axioms for metrics of distributive justice shown by the example of needs-based justice. Furthermore, some exemplary metrics of needs-based justice and a three dimensional method for visualisation of non-comparative justice axioms or evaluations are presented. Therewith, a base worth discussing for the evaluation and modelling of metrics of distributive justice is given.

Keywords: justice, distributive justice, needs-based justice, axiomatics, axioms, metrics, measures, indices, formal modelling.

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