This is my final post on Spheres of Justice.
I saw the book and decided to give it a try. Well before reading it I had the idea that morality is a contextual matter. I even wrote a journal article, Egoism and Others (link to abstract), to that effect. This came from considering the differences between being in a public place among strangers, with family or other kin, in the workplace, action on behalf of somebody else, or working for the government. I continued reading the book because of its unique perspective on justice and morality that differed from mine. We are social creatures, but the social contexts vary. Walzer calls them “spheres.” I believe “domains” is a better term, but that is not material. He also invokes the concept of membership in social groups as material, something that I had not considered.
Advocates of individualism, e.g. Ayn Rand, tend to take a simpler perspective -- the individual versus society or its government. Social relations aren’t segmented into different spheres or contexts.
Of course, I didn’t agree with everything Walzer says, but the book was quite often thought-provoking. That is the main reason I continued reading the book until the end.