Offer a Critique of What John Rawls Meant by ‘Fair Equality of Opportunity’

2169 WordsFeb 12, 20119 Pages
Q. Offer a critique of what John Rawls meant by ‘Fair Equality of Opportunity’ Introduction: The purpose of this essay is to discuss what ‘Fair Equality of Opportunity’ means and John Rawls view point on this subject. Rawls was a well known philosopher from the USA and arguably the most important political philosopher of the 20th century. Rawls is well known for using the basic structure of society as his subject matter and most famously for his work entitled, A Theory of Justice (1971). Here he explains how the “logical ordering of principles of justice can help to structure and regulate an ideal structure society” (John Rawls, 2003) This is not to say that the theory of justice principles can be used to restore justice to society,…show more content…
Purely for the fact that if everyone had the same amount of money be it rich or poor, it will most likely work out that we still be in a similar position as we are now. This is because no matter how equal we try to be there will still be a few of us who will want more in life than what they have as this is human nature, never to be satisfied with what you have and always wanting more “it is common to hear people object to equality on the grounds that it would be unrealistic and undesirable for everyone to have the same income or the same level of wealth” (welfare theories p22) This is part of human nature always striving for more, and to be the best we can be, However we should not forget those in poverty through no fault of their own, are totally unaware of the opportunities available to them, so there aspirations are limited. If everyone was equal and earned the same amount of money, what would drive certain individuals to provide services we have all come to depend on as a society such as, out of hour’s medical care. Although as Rawls has outlined in one of his principles that in order to bridge the inequality gap things have to be favoured toward the poor, a certain amount of inequality may be necessary to allow society to function. He is not alone in this thinking “... inequalities are only unfair were there exists a distribution of opportunities (whether that is characteristics or finances) which unjustly favours some section of the population over the

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