This two-year research deals with theorizing about justice. Rawls' theory of justice which functions as the frame of reference in the debate has been criticised as irrelevant for several reasons. Partially agreeing with these criticisms, I propose t ...
This two-year research deals with theorizing about justice. Rawls' theory of justice which functions as the frame of reference in the debate has been criticised as irrelevant for several reasons. Partially agreeing with these criticisms, I propose that to overcome these irrelevances, we should pay as much attention to injustice as to justice, and theorizing justice or injustice more contextually. In the first year, adopting more universalistic approach, I discuss theorizing justice in the western countries. In the second year, adopting more particulartic approach, I discuss theorizing justice or injustice in Korean society
Compared with the universalistic first year research, the second year research is particularistic. I propose that to build a theory of justice which is relevant and urgent for Korean society, we should pay more attention than justices, and survey injustices in Korean society historically and suggest solutions to overcome these injustices.
I argue that Rawls' theory of justice which is well supported in Korean academic circlesm, in itself, is not relevant for Korean society for three reasons. First, Rawls' theory of justice is very unlike to be the object of overlapping consensus in Korean society, the second, it is too ideal a theory for Korean society, the third, it does not historically well reflect the social values of Korean society.
In the first year research, I suggested that to overcome the seeming irrelevance of Rawls' theory in the western societies, theorizing about justice should be approached from the frame of injustice and the best theory from this frame is Shklar's theory of injustice.
Applying Shklar's theory to Korean historical context, I survey injustices of the late 19th century Choson dynasty, Japanese colonial rule, Korean war, military dictatorship and development state, and neo-liberalism, and then search for solutions to overcome these injustices. When we start from the accurate understanding of injustices in Korean society, we can build a relevant theory of justice. And if we overcome theses injustices step by step, we could come close to a Rawlsian ideal society which is suitable to Korean society.
Key words: Rawls, Shklar, justice, injustice, contextualism, Korean Society