Informations and abstract
Keywords: Basic Income; Theories of Justice; Political Philosophy; John Rawls; Philippe Van Parijs.
The idea of a basic income can be interpreted in many ways and therefore it is subject to various reconstructions, depending on how one identifies the financial resources, the beneficiaries (citizens, non-citizens, children, pensioners etc.), the amount of income, the feasibility of different scenarios, and so on. From the point of view of political philosophy, one of the key questions concerns whether and how the project of a universal basic income could be based on a comprehensive theory either of justice or of real freedom. The difficulty in arriving at a consensus over this point (exemplified by the contrasting views of Rawls and Van Parijs) is analyzed as a typical "impasse" in the efforts of judging the real implications of complex thought experiments. However, the article suggests that the debate on basic income offers a fruitful opportunity for a radical rethinking of the relationship between the (right to the) economic bases for a dignified life, the obligation of reciprocity, and the creation of right environments for good jobs.