Elena Irrera

Solidarity as a deontological principle? A procedural proposal

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This paper will offer a characterization of an ideal of solidarity which, far from representing a supererogatory principle, can be employed in the construction of legitimacy in a liberal-democratic society. More to the point, I will work out a view of solidarity as “joint actionµ that challenges a supposedly natural-duty based foundation, and propose that the value at stake gets structured in cooperative endeavours requiring specific principles of individual conduct and reciprocal interaction. In the first part I will conceptualize solidarity not only as a source of justice towards disadvantaged people, but also as a general principle of joint conduct in liberal societies. In the second part, drawing on John Rawls’ Theory of Justice and Political Liberalism, I propose that solidarity can be used as a source of legitimation of the procedural criteria involved in the construction of the fundamental principles of justice.


  • Solidarity
  • Joint-action
  • Rawls
  • Natural duty
  • Political liberalism


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