Rawls justice as fairness

Rawls justice as fairness

Reasonable citizens understand that these deep issues are ones on which people of good will can disagree, and so will be unwilling to impose their own worldviews on those who have reached conclusions different than their own. Do not restrict or deny the freedom and choice of anyone involved in the situation.

Although you could never actually eliminate all of your personal biases and prejudices, you would need to take steps at least to minimize them. In reflective equilibrium all of one's beliefs, on all levels of generality, cohere perfectly with one another.

Each has, that is, what Rawls calls her own comprehensive doctrine.

justice and fairness examples

Rawls answers these challenges of legitimacy and stability with his theory of political liberalism. Their decision would be binding on their society forever.

Justice as fairness a restatement

Yet Rawls lost his Christian faith as an infantryman in World War II on seeing the capriciousness of death in combat and learning of the horrors of the Holocaust. Such morally arbitrary advantages then cannot be grounds for defending any practice, slavery included, as just. The first principle—often called the Liberty Principle — is very Kantian in that it provides for basic and universal respect for persons as a minimum standard for all just institutions. Their task was to evaluate principles of social justice and choose the best ones. For these liberties, Rawls requires that citizens should be not only formally but also substantively equal. Rather a political conception is freestanding: its content is set out independently of the comprehensive doctrines that citizens affirm. Rawls awards the Fair Equality of Opportunity Principle lexical priority over the Difference Principle: a society cannot arrange inequalities to maximize the share of the least advantaged whilst not allowing access to certain offices or positions. Rawls answers these challenges of legitimacy and stability with his theory of political liberalism.

It is this aspect of justice, i. This gives hope that an overlapping consensus is at least possible. The last point is the only addition to usual definitions of rationality and it implies that the rational man in not greatly worried by seeing others in a better position unless that were the result of injustice.

Using elements of both Kantian and utilitarian philosophy, he has described a method for the moral evaluation of social and political institutions.

distributive justice

The best is to do injustice without paying the penalty; the worst is to suffer it without being able to take revenge. Rawls said that "basic liberties can be restricted only for the sake of liberty.

Justice as fairness: political not metaphysical

One proceeds by revising these beliefs as necessary, striving always to increase the coherence of the whole. In essence, public reason requires citizens to be able to justify their political decisions to one another using publicly available values and standards. For example the fact that a citizen was born rich, white, and male provides no reason in itself for this citizen to be favored by social institutions. Thus he focused on the basic institutions of society. Some citizens may see liberalism as derived directly from their deepest beliefs, as in the quotation from Vatican II above. The law must either establish a national church, or not; women must either have equal rights, or not; abortion and gay marriage must either be permissible under the constitution, or not; the economy must be set up in one way or another. These might be unskilled individuals, earning the lowest wages in the society. Wofford College. In setting out justice as fairness, Rawls assumes that the liberal society in question is marked by reasonable pluralism as described above, and also that it is under reasonably favorable conditions: that there are enough resources for it to be possible for everyone's basic needs to be met. Ideal theory makes two types of idealizing assumptions about its subject matter. However, this is not entirely so. It is intermediate between the best and the worst. Minimize the harms or the plight of the least well off in the situation or minimize the differences in the welfare of the least well off as compared to those who are most well off. If, for example, people belong to a religion that teaches men and women are unequal in certain parts of life, those beliefs would contradict Rawls' principles about equality of basic liberties and equal opportunity. But he also continued his own studies, especially in economics.

However, when choosing these principles, the parties do possess general social, psychological, and economic knowledge, and they also know that the circumstances of justice obtain in the society to which they belong.

In Rawls joined the faculty at Harvard, where he taught for more than thirty years.

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Justice as Fairness