Analytic Philosophy

Analytic Political Philosophy

What was John Rawls’ theory of justice?

Rawls (1921–2002) began by positing justice as the cardinal virtue of society. All societies value the concept of justice in a primary sense, although they have different “conceptions of justice.” Rawls’ conception of justice was that it can be understood as fairness. On that model he proposed that a society would be just if its fundamental institutions were just, which would entail equal access to official positions. As a way of determining how fundamental institutions could be just, Rawls proposed a thought experiment that posited an “original position.”


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