The Nature of Desert Claims: Rethinking What It Means to Get One's Due

    Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review


    Many philosophical books about desert start with the same observation: desert-talk is prevalent in our everyday conversations, but desert plays second fiddle in the philosophical literature. To this regularity, Kevin Kinghorn's new book about deserts is no exception. He notes in the introduction that ‘it remains a surprise to me that not more philosophers have explored why it is that people think desert does so much normative work—as well as exploring the meaning and nature of desert’ (p. 2).

    Kinghorn's aim in this book is to remedy the gap between people's intuitions about desert and the philosophical literature by offering a new, general account of desert that explains the common ‘concern’ that ‘people have in mind when making desert claims’ (p. 2). Given the variety of contexts in which desert claims are made, this is an admirably ambitious project that results in one of the most significant contributions to the desert literature in recent years.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)814-817
    Number of pages4
    JournalThe Philosophical Quarterly
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2023


    • Book Review
    • Desert
    • Philosophical Literature


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