Rawls And The Principles Of Justice

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Caroline Ey POL 304 Professor Shaw Review 3 5/8/14 I. As one of the interpretations of the second principle of justice as fairness, Rawls argues that “democratic equality” is the best avenue for citizens to realize their life projects, as meeting of the difference principle with fair equality of opportunity. The second principle states that “social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both (a) reasonably expected to be to everyone’s advantage, and (b) attached to positions and offices open to all” (Rawls, 53). With an unequal distribution of situations, the purpose of society “is not to establish and secure the more attractive prospects of those better off unless doing so is to the advantage of those less fortunate” (Rawls, 65). The principles of justice are in place to ensure that the “assignment of rights and duties” through the basic structure of society justly distribute both the “benefits and burdens” of social and economic advantages (Rawls, 47). Drawing from the difference principle, inequalities in wealth and income can be justified if all parties benefit as a result. In comparison to the alternative interpretations of natural liberty and liberal equality, a system of democratic equality holds to “pure procedural justice…[although] this still leaves too much to social and natural contingency” (Rawls, 69). Given this notion, however, the difference principle is fully “compatible with the principle of efficiency” (Rawls, 69). When tying the difference principle with fair equality of opportunity, it ensures that while individuals may have drastically different situations, the situations themselves are justified as long as the structure serves to “improve the expectations of the least advantaged... ... middle of paper ... ...uld be in Nozick’s framework (Rawls, 76). For Rawls, the purpose of society is to minimize disagreement and generate a cooperative social order that benefits the least well off. He continues on to argue that under Nozick’s framework it would compel individuals to join societies, making it unfair to individuals. For Rawl’s the Nozickian framework is naïve, blissfully assuming that individuals will be inclined to peacefully coexist if they are given opportunity to pursue their own life projects. Nozick’s arguments in this claim are fair more convincing, as it allows individuals the freedom to utilize their natural endowments to their own benefit without complicating them with a necessity to aid the worse off in society. Beyond Rawl’s principle of redistribution towards the least well off, there is no principle beyond addressing the situation of burdened individuals.
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