This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

John Rawls' A Theory Of Justice

705 words - 3 pages

John Rawls' A Theory of Justice

John Rawls' "A Theory of Justice" has long been revered as a marvel of modern political philosophy. It's most well-known for the two principles of justice outlined by Rawls: (1) that all persons have an equal right to liberty; and (2) that (a) all inequalities in society should be arranged to benefit the least advantages, and (b) that all positions and offices should be open and accessible as outlined by fair equality of opportunity. Rawls' conception of society, as a "co-operative venture for mutual gain", forms the basis for both principles, and he is at all times concerned with creating a stable concept of fair and just society. Rawls' second principle, dealing with distributive justice and equality of opportunity, outlines a theoretical procedure whereby the maximum social primary goods (i.e. wealth, health, respect, happiness) can be distributed o those with the minimum advantages ("maximin").

Rawls introduces this concept by establishing a social contract between people behind a "veil of ignorance". This veil would remove the identity and characteristics from an individual (age, sex, social status, race, religion, etc.) so that he or she would be forced to support a Basic Social Structure (where controls are set on the activities of individuals to maximize total primary goods and liberties) that is fair, just and equal. Rawls reasons that all inequalities that do not arise from such social circumstances are just, and therefore searches for a way to make social inequalities fair. In accordance with his policy of "justice as fairness", Rawls creates, and later defends, what is known as the "difference principle" (principle of justice #2). This principle stipulates that those who are advantaged by social and natural circumstances should redistribute their primary social goods to the least advantages. This principle seems fair, as all social endowments are arbitrary and should not affect one's fate. Rawls' "difference principle" also seems reasonable because it removes unjust social advantages without actually altering the advantaged's endowments (which would be almost impossible, as seen in Vonnegut.)

While Rawls' amended principle does seem progressive, there are a few flaws and objections, as noted by such contemporaries as Kymlicka....

Find Another Essay On John Rawls' A Theory of Justice

This paper compares two famous political philosophers John Rawls and Robert Nozick and their approaches to social justice

1612 words - 6 pages Aisalkyn AlimbaevaReflection PaperSocial JusticeJohn Rawls and Robert Nozick: are their approaches to justice reconcilable?Accoding to the theory of deprivation, people sense injustice when they believe that other people in similar situations have "better" or "incomparable" outcomes than they do. When people have a feeling that they are disadvantaged comparing to others or haven't received just share, they wish to challenge the system that has

Rawls' Principles of Justice Essay

1361 words - 5 pages smaller profit, as long as the profit is justly acquired and held. Nozick’s theory would also remove the taxation of the rich to an equal taxation of both the poor and rich. Works Cited Nozick, Robert. "The Entitlement Thoery of Justice, from Anarch, State, and Utopia." Philosophical Problems. By Laurence Bonjour and Ann Baker. Ed. Eric Stano. 2nd ed. New York: Pearson, 2008. 476-482. Print. Rawls, John. “Justice As Fairness, From A Theory Of Justice.” Philosophical Problems. By Laurence Bonjour and Ann baker. Ed. Eric Stano. 2nd ed. New York: Pearson, 2008. 4854-494. Print

The Life and Mindd of John Bordley Rawls

1832 words - 8 pages philosophers of the Twentieth Century following the Second World War. Rawls published his first book, “A Theory of Justice”, in 1971, which was widely considered his best work and the most important work of political philosophy. Rawlsianism, Rawls’ philosophical basis, aimed at challenging utilitarian principles and it therefore received both strong support and strong opposition.2 Biographical Sketch John Rawls was born into a comfortable family

Human Rights and John Rawls The Law of Peoples

3834 words - 15 pages Peoples", delivered at Oxford in 1993. John Rawls, in this conference, thinks that his theory of justice, such as it is explained in his previous writings, is not sufficient to establish a non etnocentric foundation that justifies the universal validity of human rights. (3) It is not sufficient due to the fact that his theory of justice as fairness was only a political understanding of justice rooted in the intuitive and basic ideas of public

theory of justice

668 words - 3 pages There has been much written on John Rawls’ Theory of Justice (1971). This is because the notion of justice is a contentious issue, particularly when one attempts to apply it to the global scale. This poses a question with no simple answer – can there be a universal theory of global justice in a world characterised by cultural, economic and political difference? Modern analytical philosophy stipulates that one can achieve definite answers, as it

Rawl's Theory of Justice

1325 words - 5 pages would be the best judge for their own utility. Hence the utility of the society would be based upon the utility of each individual citizen. One criticism Rawls might make about the informed preference satisfaction as a theory of justice would be that its focus is not to increase utility of an entire population; instead it just focuses on the individual whereas in the theory of liberal equality, opportunity and income are equally distributed among

Community for Justice A Communitarian Critique of Traditional Liberal Theory

1484 words - 6 pages related to genuine nations or societies. Traditional liberalist theory’s roots originate from the French revolution, a movement whose goals included community, in partnership with liberty, justice, and equality (Kymlica 2002, 208). However ideal the theory’s origins, the progression to today’s liberal theory has left the concept of community ignored. This would be unacceptable to original liberals, as modern liberalism compensates by using liberty and

Political Theory of John Locke

1341 words - 5 pages John Locke: Account of Political Society What would the American government be like today if it was not for the mind and political theory of John Locke? Some historians and philosophers believe that without John Locke our government would only be a shadow of what it is today. Arguably, one of his most important political and philosophical works was his Two Treatises of Government. There he argues that the function of the state is to

John Locke's Theory of Knowledge

2440 words - 10 pages subjective presentations, Locke gives us a theory of knowledge of subjective data devoid of any relation with external objects. Hence Locke is the first to give us a logic for Empiricism, that is, for sensations considered as phenomena of knowledge. Such an attitude excludes any consistent metaphysics of objective reality. Locke, however, overlooking everything he has established in his solution to the problem of knowledge, gives us a metaphysics

John Locke's Theory of Knowledge

1554 words - 6 pages John Locke (1632-1704) was the first of the classical British empiricists. (Empiricists believed that all knowledge derives from experience. These philosophers were hostile to rationalistic metaphysics, particularly to its unbridled use of speculation, its grandiose claims, and its epistemology grounded in innate ideas) If Locke could account of all human knowledge without making reference to innate ideas, then his theory would be simpler

John Locke's Theory of Knowledge

1555 words - 6 pages John Locke was an empiricist who believed that people could acquire knowledge from experience. Ideas acted as raw materials and by knowing the relation of the ideas, we got knowledge. All ideas are based on experience but knowledge can also be justified by intuition and demonstration. By sensation and reflection, we get sensitive, intuitive and demonstrative knowledge with different degrees of certainty and ways of

Similar Essays

A Theory Of Justice Presented By John Rawls

1820 words - 7 pages In A Theory of Justice John Rawls presents his argument for justice and inequality. Rawls theorizes that in the original position, a hypothetical state where people reason without bias, they would agree to live in a society based on two principles of justice (Rawls 1971, 4). These two principles of justice are named the first and second principles. The first is the equal rights and liberties principle. The second is a combination of the

John Rawls On Justice Essay

1572 words - 6 pages John Rawls was a man who played an influential role in shaping political thought in the late 20th century. Rawls is accredited for writing two major contributions that has helped influence political ideology of those even today. His first piece was published in 1971, A Theory of Justice, which argues his belief of justice on the domestic level and also that reconciliation between liberty and equality must occur in order to have a just

John Rawls, Justice Essay

570 words - 2 pages Rawls opens The Role of Justice with a strong analogy which turns the brain on, justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. Rawls also gives us the definition we were looking for, the role of justice itself is to insure that the distribution of benefits and burdens is fair.Just is a key center point in a society. Without justice in a society, the society would be ruined. Each person born into a society

Analysing John Rawls' Theory Of Justice And Its Principles, And The Conflicts Which May Arise From Its Implementation

1651 words - 7 pages Justice as FairnessThe late John Rawls, in 'Justice as Fairness', acknowledges that society exists for the "mutual benefit of all its members" (Nuttall 2002:223). They should be better off living in a society than not. However, he also indicates that there is a conflict of interest between members within the society, as each tries to accumulate a larger share of wealth and goods available.Rawls' theory of justice is seen as the solution to the