Rawls’s and Nozick’s Theory on Distributive Justice

Good Essays

This essay will compare and then contrast two distributive justice theories.
First this essay will demonstrate how Rawls’s theory will affect the society and its structure in terms of basic social institutions, wealth distribution and major economic limits and opportunities. Then, the essay will demonstrate the same for Nozick’s theory on distributive justice. I will then describe, in which society I would prefer to live in and why.

In my understanding John Rawls bases his theory on the veil of ignorance. It’s an imaginative situation that puts all rational people together and lets them make decisions on the justice structure of society without being effected by power or any other influences coming from other
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However, if one of the principles is violated the property and any advantage or profit made from property is unjustified and is not yours. (Shaw et al. 2009)
The difference in this property idea forms, as Rawls states that social and economic differences must meet two requirements to be just. Positions that bring grater benefit and advantage should be open to all, the opportunity or chance of getting a certain job, house or car should be equal to all people. This is where his theory contradicts Nozick. According to Nozick all people entitled to their property as long as the have not violated any Lockean rights and that people can do anything they want with their property or advantages as long as its justified. Rawls argues that this will only favor rich people, as the opportunities for them to gain more properties or advantages are much higher than for those with no property. Property and wealth gives people power, which maximizes the gap between the rich and the poor.


The other difference is an idea of genetic advantages. What you look like, where you born, how you raised, your talents and your gender is a personal property according to Nozick and applying his theory on property rights, will mean that you deserve everything you get or don’t get because of the kind of person you are. Rawls however, takes this idea to
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