Tag Archives: justice

The Original Original Position?

Check out this passage from William Godwin’s Political Justice, from 1793: The two great questions upon which the theory of government depends are: Upon what foundation can political authority with the greatest propriety rest? and, What are the considerations which … Continue reading

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On getting into position

OK, I finally got my hands on a copy of Theory of Justice. Sorry for the delay. Our previous discussion of Rawls has been fascinating and has gone in a lot of different directions. I have a better sense now … Continue reading

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Rawls [7], “Distributive Justice,” (1967)

After a brief segue into the topic of legal obligation, Rawls is back to elaborating on his conception of justice as fairness.  In “Distributive Justice” he has three aims: 1) Explain why the just society should not be structured by … Continue reading

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An Unjust Law?

The French government is banning burqas.  Story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/14/world/europe/14burqa.html Reasons President Sarkozy:  “The burqa is not welcome in France because it is contrary to our values and contrary to the ideals we have of a woman’s dignity.” I suspect I … Continue reading

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Rawls [5], “The Sense of Justice,” (1963)

In this essay Rawls addresses two questions, one raised specifically by his theory of justice and the other a general and much discussed meta-ethical question.  The specific question is, “To whom do the principles of justice apply?” or “To whom … Continue reading

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Rawls [4], “Constitutional Liberty and the Concept of Justice” (1963)

When we last left Rawls, he was trying to identify the ‘concept’ of justice–that is, what it is we’re attributing to a society when we call it ‘just.’  Rawls claimed that a ‘just’ society conforms to the two principles of … Continue reading

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Rawls [3], “Justice as Fairness” (1958)

In this essay Rawls investigates ‘justice’ as a property of social institutions (practices).  What does it mean to describe an institution as just/unjust? He criticizes a utilitarian conception of justice, according to which an institution is just if it maximizes … Continue reading

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