Amartya Sen – The Idea Of Justice

721 words - 3 pages

Sen mentions that there are two basic views to justice - one is the ‘arrangement-focused’ approach to justice and the other is ‘realization-focused’ approach to justice. In order to contrast both the approaches, Sen uses two Sanskrit words – niti and nyaya- both these words mean justice. Although the definition of the words is similar, they represent different perceptions of justice. Niti, on one hand focuses on organized institutions and appropriate behaviors in society. Basically, we think about proper procedures and rules when it comes to niti, which is very much the ‘arrangement-focused’ approach to justice. Nyaya, on the other hand is more comprehensive and involves the emerging of a ...view middle of the document...

gov). The existence of the laws in this context, together with the function of institutions makes it a niti-oriented approach.
However, with nyaya, not only is the conduct is taken into consideration, consequences are equally important as well. But it should not be mistaken that nyaya has a consequentialist approach to justice. Due to the institutional mechanism, despite minimum wage laws being used to make sure workers are not underpaid, poverty is still prevalent. Those who see justice in regards to nyaya will consider not only the actions taken to overcome poverty but also consider the effects of the implementation of minimum wage laws. For instance, with the minimum wage laws, people with the nyaya-oriented approach will ponder upon how institutions will take advantage of the minimum wage and not increase the wages even though minimum wages are worth less than it used to be; the fact that many adults depend on minimum wage as a living wage is also reflected on how the minimum wage results in poverty.
However, niti and nyaya tend to overlap; there is no fixture in terms of which view precedes the...

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