In Chapter 1 it was noted that in historical terms the idea that justice is a matter of people getting what they deserve is perhaps the most common and tenacious conception of justice. Indeed the internal connection between justice and desert used to be standardly cited as part of the very concept of justice itself. In recent times, however, desert has had to take its place as, at best, only one amongst many competing criteria of justice and sometimes it is excluded altogether from the list of relevant justicizing considerations.
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