A Theory of Justice
John Rawls aims to express an essential part of the common core of the democratic tradition—justice as fairness—and to provide an alternative to utilitarianism, which had dominated the Anglo-Saxon tradition of political thought since the nineteenth century. Rawls substitutes the ideal of the social contract as a more satisfactory account of the basic rights and liberties of citizens as free and equal persons. “Each person,” writes Rawls, “possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override.” Advancing the ideas of Rousseau, Kant, Emerson, and Lincoln, Rawls’s theory is as powerful today as it was when first published. Though the revised edition of A Theory of Justice, published in 1999, is the definitive statement of Rawls’s view, much of the extensive literature on his theory refers to the original. This first edition is available for scholars and serious students of Rawls’s work.
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In particular , the content of the relevant agreement is not to enter a given society or to adopt a given form of government , but to accept certain moral principles . Moreover , the undertakings referred to are purely hypothetical : a ...
We should insure further that particular inclinations and aspirations , and persons ' conceptions of their good do not affect the principles adopted . The aim is to rule out those principles that it would be rational to propose for ...
... presumed to have the requisite ability to understand and to act upon whatever principles are adopted . Together with the veil of ignorance , these conditions define the principles of justice as those which rational persons concerned ...
The most natural way , then , of arriving at utilitarianism ( although not , of course , the only way of doing so ) is to adopt for society as a 12. On this point see Sidgwick , The Methods of Ethics , pp . 416f . 13.
... that some form of the principle of utility would be adopted , and therefore that contract theory leads eventually ... original position would reject the utility principle and that they would adopt instead , for the kinds of reasons ...
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Review: A Theory of JusticeUser Review - Alex L - Goodreads
BLEH. Never taking a political theory class again. But this book was rather odd...i liked the ideas he proposed, but it wasn't as enjoyable of a read as i thought it would be. Not really my subject matter. Read full review