Logical Analysis on John Rawls' a Theory of Justice

Topics: John Rawls, Justice, Utilitarianism Pages: 2 (472 words) Published: February 23, 2013
Assignment: Explain the thesis, create an argument against it, then conclude with a counter argument to the counter argument.

John Rawls, using Kantian rationality, discusses ways to determine principles of social justice. He begins by making a clear distinction as to what defines the social justice used in his argument – “the way in which the major social institutions distribute fundamental rights and duties and determine the division of advantages from social cooperation”. Rawls then continues to introduce concepts such as the original position which pertains to the thought experiment he calls the veil of ignorance – the original position is a hypothetical state where members of society decide what the principles of justice are. To find the original position, the members must use the veil of ignorance in the sense of having ignorance toward class, intelligence, strength, and things alike, in order to prevent bias and in turn create a fair choice. With this in mind, Rawls sets forth to disprove utilitarianism within justice. He claims that utilitarianism is unjust for it does not respect the rights and liberties of all individuals - if slavery was beneficial to the majority, using utilitarianism logic, some would claim it is just. Rawls argues for the equality of rights; inequalities are justified only if they benefit the society as a whole. He makes a key distinction between the benefit of the majority, and the advantage of all.

To begin his entire thesis, I note Rawls’ absence of idealism; he assumes people will want assurances of others’ compliance, falling under the “assurance problem”. I also note the overall optimistic, almost naïve, tone to Rawls' argument. It is easy to theorize of a world where true justice can prevail, however, in application, there are harsher realities to face. How can societies chose leaders who are not subject to mere mortal corruption? There are biases of class, intelligence, and things alike that prevent an individual, let...
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