John Rawls: A Theory of Justice

March 2, 2009

Book: Contemporary Moral Problems by James E. White (7th Edition)

Library Reference: N/A

Amazon Reference:


Quote: “The rights and liberties referred to by these principles are those which are defined by the public rules of the basic structure.”


This chapter talks about the distinction between two principles of justice, stated by John Rawls, a professor of philosophy at Harvard University. The first principle involves equality in basic liberties. The second principle involves the arrangement of social and economic inequalities. These principles are those of which people are accepting all over the world. It is widely accepted by a lot of people because of which it is beneficial to all. That is the goal of justice, to make all people equal in their own rights. Equality and fairness is what all people want for them to be able to have peace with other people.

The balance that people wants is sometimes very difficult to obtain because there are some people who is selfish and is against equality. All they want is for them to be much up ahead compared to others. There is some situations where people who are having difficulties in life gets the notion that if they would take something from people who are fortunate than them, it is ok for them to take it. It is ok for them because they think that it is a way for them to be equal to those who are not less fortunate. This notion is the cause of imbalance in a place where equality and fairness is of the most sacred rule.

Justice is given to us the state and develops by other humans like us who sees to protect the interest of our well being. We need to know and renew and apply those values of the past to our present. We do not need to abandoned the old ones we only to rethink it and apply it if needed. The wrong thing about Kantian extends that equal rights to all ration beings including women and minorities is that they over extend it and did not put boundaries to it. I think he would say that is only right to have equal rights to all.

What I’ve learned:

  • Theory of Justice is used by people worldwide to enforce equality and fairness towards each other.
  • Justice will always prevail


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