Rawls ' Theory Of Justice

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Rawls Theory of Justice
Ming Chi Wang
University of British Columbia

John Rawls in his work, “A Theory of Justice,” aims to make up a theory that will rivals intuitionalists and utilitarianism, which seeks truth in morality that cause results in maximizing utility for the maximum number of people. Rawls’ theory of justice is a distribution theory that maximizes primary goods for the worst outcome an individual could be in. By primary goods, Rawls informs us that all rational and reasonable individuals will want to have certain fundamental goods that should not be denied anyone. These goods include liberty, autonomy, self-respect, and wealth, as I will later discuss in Rawls’ principle of equal liberty. To provide an argument that will combat utilitarianism, the philosopher uses a revised social contract theory that is to a tune of “higher abstraction” (Rawls, pg.10) than its predecessors John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Immanuel Kant. In my essay I will discuss Rawls’ original position and veil of ignorance that will lead us to his two principles of justice. I will also discuss American philosopher Robert Nozick objection to Rawls’ principles and defend Rawls’ argument. My essay will end in discussing the effectiveness of Rawls’ social contract theory in combating utilitarianism. In Rawls’ justice as fairness theory, the original position essentially substitutes Hobbes ' state of nature. According to
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