John Rawls' 'A Theory of Justice'

1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology (2018)
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Abstract

Some people are multi-billionaires; others die because they are too poor to afford food or medications. In many countries, people are denied rights to free speech, to participate in political life, or to pursue a career, because of their gender, religion, race or other factors, while their fellow citizens enjoy these rights. In many societies, what best predicts your future income, or whether you will attend college, is your parents’ income. To many, these facts seem unjust. Others disagree: even if these facts are regrettable, they aren’t issues of justice. A successful theory of justice must explain why clear injustices are unjust and help us resolve current disputes. John Rawls (1921-2002) was a Harvard philosopher best known for his A Theory of Justice (1971), which attempted to define a just society. Nearly every contemporary scholarly discussion of justice references A Theory of Justice. This essay reviews its main themes.

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Ben Davies
University of Sheffield

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References found in this work

Equality of what?Amartya Sen - 1987 - In John Rawls & Sterling M. McMurrin (eds.), Liberty, equality, and law: selected Tanner lectures on moral philosophy. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.
Rawls on Race/Race in Rawls.Charles W. Mills - 2009 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (S1):161-184.
John Rawls.Leif Wenar - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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