Justice as a Family Value: How a Commitment to Fairness is Compatible with Love

Pauline Kleingeld, Joel Anderson

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Many discussions of love and the family treat issues of justice as something alien. On this view, concerns about whether one’s family is internally just are in tension with the modes of interaction that are characteristic of loving families. In this essay, we challenge this widespread view. We argue that once justice becomes a shared family concern, its pursuit is compatible with loving familial relations. We examine four arguments for the thesis that a concern with justice is not at home within a loving family, and we explain why these arguments fail. We develop and defend an alternative conception of the justice-oriented loving family, arguing that justice can—and, for the sake of justice, should—be seen as a family value.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-336
Number of pages17
JournalHypatia. A Journal of Feminist Philosophy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • justice
  • love
  • family

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