Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Rawls and Justice

Rawls and Justice: Published in 1971, A Theory of Justice remains one of the foremost works concerning the abstract notion of justice. John Rawls' idea of "justice as fairness" seems to be the primary concept that he intended to convey in his book. For the most part, one can consider his theory of justice as being heavily rooted in morality. It is distributive justice in is most basic form. That is, equal access to resources ought to be the primary concern of any just society. Ergo, Rawls' conception of justice is essentially a moral philosophy with hints of political liberalism. With his justice theory, Rawls also attempted to justify the main reason why citizens ought to follow the laws created by states. In a sense, Rawls claimed that citizens have consented to the will of the lawmakers by vesting power in them through a "social contract." This notion of a "social contract" between the government and its respective citizenry was born during the Enlightenment era. Thinkers like John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau contemplated the relationship of man and government, and thus, they concluded that man emerged from his self-imposed triviality through reason.

No comments: