Three kids and a flute

Art Harun

In exploring and demonstrating the idea that it is possible to have different reasons for justice, each of which would survive “critical scrutiny” but “yields divergent conclusions”, Amartya Sen in his “The Idea of Justice” brought us a delightful tale of three kids with a flute.

As the tale goes, there are three children, Anne, Bob and Carla. And there is one flute. All three kids make claim for the flute on different reasons and with distinct justification.

Anne makes claim to the flute based on the fact that she is the only one who could play the flute. This fact is admitted by the other two kids, who know next to bleeding nut on how to even make a sound from the flute.

Bob on the other hand lays claim to the flute by being the most underprivileged of the three. Coming from a poor family he has no toys.  Having the flute would very much make him happy and elevate his unhappy life. The other two children admit it as much that they are more privileged than Bob and that they have more toys then they need.

Carla on the other hand claims the flute due to the fact that the flute is the product of her hard labour. Yes. Carla actually is the one who makes the flute. This fact is also admitted by the other two children.

Who should get the flute?