Justice as Fairness and Relational Resources
Journal of Political Philosophy, 2015
Reason for embargo
Philosophers often remark that many of our interpersonal relationships are valuable for their own sake. At the same time, even the most intimate of these relationships -- friendships, family ties, and spiritual kinships -- inevitably have instrumental value. Relationships provide stocks of goods that individuals can draw from to achieve a variety of ends. Friends might provide us with special advice and encouragement for a job interview, or have enough trust in us to become involved in a risky business venture. Membership within an association may generate the self-confidence that comes with having our projects recognized by others who share a similar conception of the good. The list could continue. Sociologists often refer to the goods that are distinctively produced by, and accessed through, interpersonal relationships and associations as “relational capital.” This term indicates two important aspects of relationships-derived goods: they are productive resources -- a form of capital -- precisely like economic resources. But they cannot be reduced to economic forms of capital -- they are relational in kind.
Vol. 23 (1), pp. 86-110