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  1. Justice After Rawls
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  3. John Rawls | American philosopher |

This volume collects new and previously published articles by Freeman on Rawls. Among other things, Freeman places Rawls within historical context in the social contract tradition, and thoughtfully addresses criticisms of this position.

  1. Justice and the Social Contract (Essay on Rawlsian Political Philosophy).
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  3. A Rawlsian Case for Libertarianism |

Not only is Freeman a leading authority on Rawls, but he is an excellent thinker in his own right, and these articles will be useful to a wide range of scholars interested in Rawls and the expanse of his influence. Freeman, Samuel, Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks as. Download full text from publisher To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options: 1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.

Justice After Rawls

Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available. More about this item Statistics Access and download statistics. Corrections All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors.

Louis Fed. Help us Corrections Found an error or omission? RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers. He took an old idea, thought of a fresh way of using it, and came up with principles for a just society. John Rawls was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in His mother was a women's rights activist.

The second of five sons, Rawls tragically contracted and passed on infectious diseases to two of his brothers who died from them. Rawls attended mainly private schools before entering Princeton in He was unsure about a career but ended up majoring in philosophy. This stimulated an interest in religion, and he considered training for the ministry. After graduating with a degree in philosophy in , he enlisted in the Army and served in the South Pacific for two years in an infantry intelligence unit. After his discharge from the Army following the war, he returned to Princeton and pursued an advanced degree in philosophy under the GI Bill of Rights.

He earned his PhD in In , Princeton hired Rawls as an instructor in the philosophy department. But he also continued his own studies, especially in economics.

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In , Rawls won a Fulbright fellowship to Oxford where he first developed the idea for what later became his famous "thought experiment. He remained a professor of philosophy at Harvard from until he retired in Rawls was mainly an academic man, involved in abstract thinking and writing. During the Vietnam War, however, he led an effort at Harvard that questioned the fairness of student military draft deferments.

Why, he asked, should college students, many with social and economic advantages, avoid the draft while others without these advantages had to go to war?

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  • The Social Contract and its contentious role for Rawls's 'Theory of Justice'!
  • He preferred a lottery system, which the United States eventually adopted late in the Vietnam War. During the s, he mainly concentrated on writing A Theory of Justice , published in This complex work attempted to develop standards or principles of social justice that could apply to real societies. Rawls called his concept of social justice "Justice as Fairness.

    Since he first published A Theory of Justice , he changed the wording of these principles several times. He published his last version in Each person has the same and indefeasible [permanent] claim to a fully adequate scheme of equal basic liberties, which scheme is compatible with the same scheme of liberties for all. This principle means that everyone has the same basic liberties, which can never be taken away.

    John Rawls | American philosopher |

    Rawls included most of the liberties in the U. Bill of Rights, such as freedom of speech and due process of law. He added some liberties from the broader area of human rights, like freedom of travel. Rawls recognized the right of private individuals, corporations, or workers to own private property. But he omitted the right to own the "means of production" e.

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    He also left out the right to inherit wealth. These things were not basic liberties in his view. Rawls agreed that basic liberties could be limited, but "only for the sake of liberty. This Second Principle focused on equality. Rawls realized that a society could not avoid inequalities among its people. Inequalities result from such things as one's inherited characteristics, social class, personal motivation, and even luck.

    Even so, Rawls insisted that a just society should find ways to reduce inequalities in areas where it can act.

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    By "offices and positions" in his Second Principle, Rawls meant especially the best jobs in private business and public employment. He said that these jobs should be "open" to everyone by the society providing "fair equality of opportunity. Another way would be to provide everyone easy access to education. The most controversial element of his theory of social justice was his Difference Principle. He first defined it in a essay. Later, when he wrote A Theory of Justice, he used the phrase, "least-advantaged members of society" to refer to those at the bottom of economic ladder. These might be unskilled individuals, earning the lowest wages in the society.

    Under the Difference Principle, Rawls favored maximizing the improvement of the "least-advantaged" group in society. He would do this not only by providing "fair equality of opportunity," but also by such possible ways as a guaranteed minimum income or minimum wage his preference. Rawls agreed that this Difference Principle gave his theory of social justice a liberal character. Finally, Rawls ranked his principles of social justice in the order of their priority. The First Principle "basic liberties" holds priority over the Second Principle.

    The first part of the Second Principle "fair equality of opportunity" holds priority over the second part Difference Principle. But he believed that both the First and Second Principles together are necessary for a just society. Rawls was interested in political philosophy. Thus he focused on the basic institutions of society. Unless such institutions as the constitution, economy, and education system operated in a fair way for all, he argued, social justice would not exist in a society.

    Rawls set out to discover an impartial way to decide what the best principles for a just society were. He reached back several hundred years to philosophers like John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau who had developed the idea of a social contract. Locke and Rousseau had written that people in the distant past had formed a contract between themselves and their leader.

    The people would obey their leader, usually a king, and he would guarantee their natural rights. This would be the basis for a just society. Thomas Jefferson relied on this social contract idea in writing the Declaration of Independence. By the 20th century, most philosophers had dismissed the social contract as a quaint myth. Rawls, however, revived the social contract concept of people agreeing what constitutes a just society.