John Rawls Theory of Justice as Fairness

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John Rawls Theory of Justice as Fairness Sample Answer

Theory of Justice as Fairness

John Rawls’ theory of Justice aimed at establishing a reasoned basis for social justice in accordance with the social contract approach, which perceives members of a society as being in some form of contractual agreement.

John Rawls Theory of Justice as Fairness
John Rawls Theory of Justice as Fairness

On this basis is what Rawls develops his concept of justice as fairness. Accordingly, he argues that the key subject of justice is the basic societal structure and that justice is the key virtue required in social institutions. Rawls’ conception of justice consists of two major principles: the Principle of Liberty and the Principle of Equality. The latter is further divided into the Difference Principle and the Principle of Fair Equality of Opportunity. These principles require that every member of society is equally placed in a position to enjoy all basic liberties that are consistent with similar liberties for the rest of society.

1)  Summarize the concept of the “original position.”

One of the basic grounds for Rawls’ argument is that parties in the original position would chose his Principles of Justice. This process involves the parties choosing the principles which they intend to use in determining the primary societal structure in which they will live.

2)  Summarize the concept of the “veil of ignorance.”

The choice made by the parties which regard to the principles to govern their societal structure is made from behind a veil of ignorance. This veil of ignorance works towards depriving the parties of information concerning their certain attributes, such as their conception of The Good, their gender, social status, and ethnicity. As a result, the parties tend to choose the principles in an impartial and rational manner.

3)  Apply both concepts to an issue in today’s society that you feel is important

The concepts of original position and veil of ignorance can be applied to the Medicaid program which was established with the aim of ensuring fairness in the provision of medical services across the populations in the country.

 John Rawls Theory of Justice as Fairness Reference

Rawls, J. (1999) A Theory of Justice (Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA)


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