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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It is evident that this definition is framed to apply to actions , and persons are thought to be just insofar as they have , as one of the permanent elements of their character , a steady and effective desire to act justly .
Since the principle for an individual is to advance as far as possible his own welfare , his own system of desires , the principle for society is to advance as far as possible the welfare of the group ...
greatest extent the comprehensive system of desire arrived at from the desires of its members . Just as an individual balances present and future gains against present and future losses , so a society may balance satisfactions and ...
... form as defining the good as the satisfaction of desire , or perhaps better , as the satisfaction of rational desire . ... in the circumstances will achieve the greatest sum of satisfaction of the rational desires of individuals .
It is this spectator who is conceived as carrying out the required organization of the desires of all persons into one coherent system of desire ; it is by this construction that many persons are fused into one .
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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