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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I assume that any reasonably complete ethical theory must include principles for this fundamental problem and that these principles , whatever they are , constitute its doctrine of justice . The concept of justice I take to be defined ...
As the text suggests , I shall regard Locke's Second Treatise of Government , Rousseau's The Social Contract , and Kant's ethical works beginning with The Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals as definitive of the contract tradition ...
I shall modify this concept to some extent , as explained later ( $ 25 ) , but one must try to avoid introducing into it any controversial ethical elements . The initial situation must be characterized by stipulations that are widely ...
one grants that the contractarian method is a useful way of studying ethical theories and of setting forth their underlying assumptions . Justice as fairness is an example of what I have called a contract theory .
For it is clear that the contractarian idea can be extended to the choice of more or less an entire ethical system , that is , to a system including principles for all the virtues and not only for justice . Now for the most part I shall ...
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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