Reciprocity is a moral value that concerns the accommodation of conflicting claims. This paper argues that the demands of reciprocity can come into conflict with the requirements of justice. This conflict is most readily apparent when reciprocity is viewed as a rooted notion, one that addresses the concerns and claims of actual people in less than ideal circumstances. Reciprocity is a value that figures prominently in the writings of those who call themselves political liberals. But political liberals, the paper also contends, have oversimplified the relationship between reciprocity and justice. Taking the rooted dimension of reciprocity seriously and thinking hard about the potential conflicts between reciprocity and justice moves us beyond the confines of the political liberal project and allows us to view reciprocity as a notion that illuminates the moral dimension of political compromise.
- political liberalism
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