Rawls Theory of Justice as Fairness

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Part A: Political Liberalism

John Rawls ' Political Liberalism is an answer to the most common criticism of his Theory of Justice as Fairness where critics argued that it was just another conception of justice that is incompatible with other doctrines. It failed to clarify the concept of the good in a reasonable pluralist society by not distinguishing between an independent political theory and a comprehensive moral theory addressing the problem of Justice. This leads Rawls to refine his initial theory in Political Liberalism and ground it in a political structure rather than a metaphysical one. Sandel still has concerns about the way Rawls deals with this problem of neutrality vs. perfectionism, which stems from their varied views of liberalism and communitarianism. Rawls theory of justice talks about the problem of distributive justice, where the allotment of social primary goods in a society is arranged in a certain way, and opts for a method that focuses attaining equal liberty while giving those worse off a chance to flourish and using the resources of the better off to help the ones worse off. His work tries to put everyone on equal footing from the start, using the veil of ignorance, before deliberating on common principles that will be accepted by all. The deliberation inevitably leads to 2 conclusions, he contends, of everyone having equal rights to basic liberties and of inequalities being arranged so they provide the least advantaged with the greatest benefit while keeping vocations accessible under a fair equality of opportunity, One problem that this theory leads to is that the difference principle, where people that are better off need to compensate for those worse off is a restriction on liberty of those individuals that are better off. The stability of the theory in the long run has also been questioned, with emphasis on



Bibliography: Sandel, Michael J. Justice, A Reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA, 2007. Print. ----------------------- [1]Page 344, “Political Liberalism, John Rawls”, Sandel, Michael J. Justice, A Reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA, 2007. Print. [2] Page 347, “Political Liberalism, John Rawls”, Sandel, Michael J. Justice, A Reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA, 2007. Print. [3]Page 352, “Political Liberalism, John Rawls”, Sandel, Michael J. Justice, A Reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA, 2007. Print. [4] Page 355, “Political Liberalism, John Rawls”, Sandel, Michael J. Justice, A Reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA, 2007. Print. [5] Page 374, “Political Liberalism, Michael Sandel”, Sandel, Michael J. Justice, A Reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA, 2007. Print. [6] Page 375, “Political Liberalism, Michael Sandel”, Sandel, Michael J. Justice, A Reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA, 2007. Print.

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