Theory of Justice

Topics: John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, Political philosophy Pages: 3 (972 words) Published: June 2, 2011
A Theory of Justice
Within this essay, the Theory of Justice will be broke down. It will lay out some personal information on John Rawls. It will give the principles of the theory and explain what they mean. It will also explain how the principles of these theories differ from traditional utilitarianism. Lastly it will show how justice is defined by modern criminal justice agencies and other entities involved in the criminal justice system and how it differs from security. John Bordley Rawls is one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century. He was born the son of William Lee Rawls and Anna Abel (Stump) Rawls on February 21, 1921, in Baltimore, Maryland. Rawls received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University in 1943. During World War II, he served in the military, stationed in the Pacific. He attended Cornell University for a year from 1947–1948 and earned a doctorate from Princeton in 1950. In 1949, he married Margaret Warfield Fox, with whom he had four children. In A Theory of Justice, Rawls begins with the statement that, ‘‘Justice is the first virtue of social institution,’’ meaning that a good society is one structured according to principals of justice (1998). John Rawls states that when a person is covered in the veil of ignorance, a society without his/her own status known must begin in that society. They must provide a place that they could relate to for someday they may have bad luck and end up as a person on the lowest end of the ladder in society. This is one way to have a just and fair society for all to live. A place where status does not matter and no one would ever feel bad for the situation they are in. Rawls goes on to decide the necessary principles of justice that a good society may be based upon and using these as a foundation to build from. There were three principles addressed in the theory. The first principle addressed is the principle of the greatest equal liberty. This means each person is to have an...
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