He is chiefly known, however, for his book A Theory of Justice, an effort to define social justice.
Objective[ edit ] In A Theory of Justice, Rawls argues for a principled reconciliation of liberty and equality that is meant to apply to the basic structure of a well-ordered society.
Principles of justice are sought to guide the conduct of the parties. These parties are recognized to face moderate scarcity, and they are neither naturally altruistic nor purely egoistic. They have ends which they seek to advance, but prefer to advance them through cooperation with others on mutually acceptable terms.
Rawls offers a model of a fair choice situation the original position with its veil of ignorance within which parties would hypothetically choose mutually acceptable principles of justice.
Under such constraints, Rawls believes that parties would find his favoured principles of justice to be especially attractive, winning out over varied alternatives, including utilitarian and right-libertarian accounts.
The "original position"[ edit ] Main article: Original position Rawls belongs to the social contract tradition, although he takes a different view from that of previous thinkers. Specifically, Rawls develops what he claims are principles of justice through the use of an artificial device he calls the Original position; in which, everyone decides principles of justice from behind a veil of ignorance.
This "veil" is one that essentially blinds people to all facts about themselves so they cannot tailor principles to their own advantage: I shall even assume that the parties do not know their conceptions of the good or their special psychological propensities.
The principles of justice are chosen behind a veil of ignorance. If an individual does not know how he will end up in his own conceived society, he is likely not going to privilege any one class of people, but rather develop a scheme of justice that treats all fairly.
In particular, Rawls claims that those in the Original Position would all adopt a maximin strategy which would maximize the prospects of the least well-off. A full theory of the good follows after we derive principles from the original position.
Rawls claims that the parties in the original position would adopt two such principles, which would then govern the assignment of rights and duties and regulate the distribution of social and economic advantages across society.
The difference principle permits inequalities in the distribution of goods only if those inequalities benefit the worst-off members of society.
Rawls believes that this principle would be a rational choice for the representatives in the original position for the following reason: Each member of society has an equal claim on their society's goods. Natural attributes should not affect this claim, so the basic right of any individual, before further considerations are taken into account, must be to an equal share in material wealth.
What, then, could justify unequal distribution? Rawls argues that inequality is acceptable only if it is to the advantage of those who are worst-off. The agreement that stems from the original position is both hypothetical and ahistorical.
It is hypothetical in the sense that the principles to be derived are what the parties would, under certain legitimating conditions, agree to, not what they have agreed to. Rawls seeks to use an argument that the principles of justice are what would be agreed upon if people were in the hypothetical situation of the original position and that those principles have moral weight as a result of that.
It is ahistorical in the sense that it is not supposed that the agreement has ever been, or indeed could ever have been, derived in the real world outside of carefully limited experimental exercises. The Two Principles of Justice[ edit ] In chapter forty-seven, Rawls makes his final clarification on the principles of justice in one paragraph: Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive total system of equal basic liberties compatible with a similar system of liberty for all.
Social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both: The first principle is often called the greatest equal liberty principle. The second, until bthe difference principle and the final addendum in b the equal opportunity principle.
However, it is a matter of some debate whether freedom of contract can be inferred to be included among these basic liberties: His position is at least in some sense egalitarianwith a provision that inequalities are allowed when they benefit the least advantaged.
An important consequence of Rawls' view is that inequalities can actually be just, as long as they are to the benefit of the least well off.John Rawls is the subject of A Theory of Justice: The Musical!, an award-nominated musical billed as an "all-singing, all-dancing romp through 2, years of political philosophy".
The musical premiered at Oxford in and was revived for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
A Theory of Justice Essay A Theory of Justice, by John Rawls Tier III A Home Page A Theory of Justice, by John Rawls, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, This outline of an extended book review is based in large part on notes composed by Darrell Huwe.
Keywords: justice as fairness summary, theory of justice rawls. A Theory of Justice (), by John Rawls, is ''one of the most influential works in moral and political philosophy written in the twentieth century,'' according to Samuel Freeman in the Collected Papers of John Rawls ().
Study Guide for A Theory of Justice. A Theory of Justice study guide contains a biography of John Rawls, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Theory of Justice. A Theory of Justice Within this essay, the Theory of Justice will be broke down.
It will lay out some personal information on John barnweddingvt.com will give the principles of the theory and explain what they mean. It will also explain how the principles of these theories differ from traditional utilitarianism.
Lastly it will show how justice is defined by modern criminal justice. The publication in of A Theory of Justice established John Rawls (–) as one of the most prominent figures in moral and political philosophy of READ MORE HERE Rawls, John. A Theory of Justice. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, This example John Rawls Essay is published for educational .