Bart Wilson mulls over the term:

Did you know that fair is one-to-one untranslatable into any other language--that it is distinctly Anglo in origin? And a relatively new word at that? (Late 18th century, actually)...No matter how much we may feel that fairness is a pure principle, it’s really a regular social rule, a custom.   (Another surprisingly revealing word:  you have probably seen the words “customary rates” applied to gratuities and sales commissions).  Fairness really boils down to an issue of agreement: can we agree on what rules this particular context calls for?

James Joyner thinks it's bull.

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