Analysis Of David Hume 's Theory Of Justice

2868 Words Dec 5th, 2014 12 Pages
Ethics: A simple concept that many of us say we understand and try to incorporate in our day to day activities. Yet when we look at the application of ethics, we see that it is the interpretation that causes so many problems. Let us look at a seemingly simple concept: Property ownership. David Hume defined property as nothing but a stable possession under the mutually respected understanding of society. Basically, Man creates society to enforce justice which allows man to own and use property as he desires. A grand idea but is it so simple? If Man creates society to protect this arbitrary concept, does society have the right to take this right away? John Rawls felt that society was responsible for deciding who properly owns property, whether it 's individually or communally owned. In his influential work, A Theory of Justice, Rawls ' conception of society is defined by "justice as fairness." Essentially saying that social institutions must be open and fair to all, and while wealth and power may be distributed unequally, this distribution must be for the benefit of all. While John Rawls had little to say in regards to property, it is his theory of “justice as fairness” which debates the ethics of eminent domain. In order to understand the ethical debate of eminent domain, we must first explore how property has been viewed over the centuries from Plato through Jean Jacques Rousseau. It is not the words of these philosophers that creates so much confusion, rather their…
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