Intrinsic Desert Thesis Kant
What is remarkable about Rawls’ program is that for the first time in the history of philosophy the Sophist’s idea of relative convention (nomos) triumphs over natural law (physis) and has become the dominant political philosophy of our age.
The genius of Rawls is to make Protagoras and Callicles and Glaucon respectable over Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle - no mean feat!
ca 200 AD) There is an ancient tradition, found in both the mainstream of Western philosophy and religion as well as Eastern thought (viz.
the doctrine of karma), that justice consists in giving people what they deserve - often rendered as giving each person his or her due.
The notion of natural or pre-institutional desert evaporates.
Justice as the tendency towards equal distribution of primary goods replaces the classical notion of justice as giving each person his or her due (suum cuique tribuere).
The assertion that a man deserves the superior character that enables him to make the effort to cultivate his abilities is equally problematic; for his character depends in large part upon fortunate family and social circumstances for which he can claim no credit.Recall Smart’s famous retort, “The notion of the responsibility [for an outcome] is a piece of metaphysical nonsense”.and Brian Barry writes, In examining the concept of desert we are examining a concept which is already in decline and may eventually disappear.The criterion of desert is replaced largely by that of rights and entitlements, the language of the Law Court.As Dworkin puts it, rights are trump cards which beat everything else.