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Copy of John Rawls' theory on Justice

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Alana Tomasetti

on 27 August 2013

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Transcript of Copy of John Rawls' theory on Justice

John Rawls' Theory on Justice
Born in 1921 in Baltimore
A theory of Justice
Inspired by Hobbes, Rousseau
and Kant
John Rawls
Opposing theories

J. Bentham
J. S. Mill
"The greatest good for the greatest number"
A = 1000 points of utility
B = 500 points of utility
C = 0 point of utility
Total = 1500 points of utility
If A = B = C = 400 points of utility
Total = 1200 points of utility
Situation 1
Situation 2
S1 > S2
" No theory of justice is more correct than another"
How can men stay equals while publicly formalizing their differences?
I. Formulating a framework for justice
II. The two pillars of Justice
Justice as Fairness
Original position & Veil of ignorance
General conception of justice
The difference principle
I. A Framework for Justice
"Justice as Fairness"
Justice = "a proper balance between competing claims to the advantages of social life"
Injustice = inequalities that are not the benefit of all
Justice as Fairness is produced by a social contract that everyone agrees on freely
For example an institution is just when it doesn't discern any arbitrary distinction between indivuals while attributing rights
I. A Framework for Justice
Veil of ignorance in the original position
No one knows their position in society
class, social status, assets, conception of "goodness"
Risk avert
II. The two pillars of Justice
Principles of Justice
II. The two pillars of Justice
I. General Conception of Justice
"Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty, compatible with a similar liberty for others"
Primary social goods
Primary natural goods
II. The two pillars of Justice
II. The Difference Principle
• Fair distribution of resources
"inequalities are arranged so that they are to every ones advantages and especially to the one of the most disavantaged"
he admits inequalities to certain conditions :
compensatory inequalities
Welfare state
minimum wages
sickness insurance
Affirmative action
II. The two pillars of Justice
II. Egality of chances
Everyone must have the same chances and opportunities to reach the highest offices, taking into account their motivation and skills
university tuition
Sciences Po programms for "ZEP"
high wages for lawyers
Quebec or France
social status, ethnicity, religion, gender... shouldn't be a barrier
Unequalities are just if for the least advantaged
Basis of social-democracy
Liberty can not be sacrificed
Critics of Rawls' Theory
"not realistic"
flaws in "maximin theory"
"veil of ignorance" as "improbable fiction"
Charles Taylor, Michael Walzer
Mill, Harsanyi
"common good"
Full transcript