Rawls Vs. Nozick : John Rawls And Nozick Essay

Rawls Vs. Nozick : John Rawls And Nozick Essay

Length: 792 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Rawls vs Nozick
John Rawls and Robert Nozick both provide compelling and thought provoking theories regarding the values of liberty and equality. Rawls focuses on both liberty and equality while Nozick theorizes exclusively on liberty. The ideas of Rawls and Nozick have multiple strengths as well as weaknesses which allow for debate and comparison between the two theories.
John Rawls was more in agreement with the works of Locke and Rousseau; however, Rawls disagreed with the notion that the State of Nature was a historical situation as opposed to something hypothetical; Rawls instead believed an original position of equality which I agree with (917). Rawls believed humans to be free, rational, self-interested, and most importantly, equal. To maintain absolute equality among all people, Rawls believed in the idea of a veil of ignorance which would eliminate all persons’ knowledge of themselves, eliminating racism and sexism when creating rules (917). I agree with the idea that a veil of ignorance would have prevented multiple issues throughout history; however, the veil of ignorance serves only as an ideal and a way to evaluate documents (927). I agree with both the liberty and equality principles set forth by Rawls. Political liberties, including the right to hold office and vote, and civil liberties, including certain freedoms and rights, should be provided to all people. I also agree with equal opportunities for all and nondiscrimination based on irrelevant characteristics proposed in the equality principle (923). Rawls’ combination of a fluid class structure combined with the
Lemmons, 2
cautious player strategy allows for a society where there is the opportunity for advancement on the social ladder, yet if someone were to f...

... middle of paper ...

...s and agreed on by Nozick is indisputable; people deserve the maximum amount of civil and political liberties. However, the weaknesses of both theories regarding the distribution of resources make them inconsistent with anything that could occur in a just society. Equal distribution and redistribution of wealth could have negative results to the social ladder and the motivation of people. While on the other hand, loss of taxation would leave the society with no source of revenue to allow for access, resulting in everything being switched to private property and services. Rawls’ theory seems more likely to produce positive results than Nozick’s theory because Rawls does not deny the idea of taxation, and the redistribution of wealth could still provide the government with the ability to tax each citizen equally and subsequently allow for public access and services.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

John Rawls And Robert Nozick Essay

- John Rawls and Robert Nozick write about very different societies and offer the ways that these societies will be governed and the rights its citizens will have. Rawls’ theory of justice as fairness differs from Nozick’s ultra-minimal state in various ways. They each describe the issues of justice, morality and the law through the issues of rights of citizens and the power of individuals. If I had a choice, I would prefer to live in a liberal society as Rawls mentions, in which I would be able to act as a free and equal person with basic rights and have the ability to participate in the creation of institutions....   [tags: Political philosophy, Law, Liberalism, John Rawls]

Better Essays
1533 words (4.4 pages)

Essay about John Rawls, Robert Nozick, And Michael Walzer

- In the complexity of political thought, many thinkers have a set of principles for deciding questions regarding the balance of equality, freedom, and social justice. For political thinkers like John Rawls, Robert Dahl, Robert Nozick, and Michael Walzer—each grasp a different perspective on how and whether it is acceptable to redistribute resources in order to promote material equality. Of these authors, I find John Rawls’ argument most appealing. In his work A Theory of Justice, he states “All social values—liberty and opportunity, income and wealth, and the bases of self-respect—are to be distributed equally unless an unequal distribution of any, or all, of these values is to everyone 's...   [tags: Political philosophy, John Rawls, Justice]

Better Essays
1583 words (4.5 pages)

John Rawls And Nozick 's Conceptions Of Society And Principles Of Social Justice

- John Rawls and Robert Nozick, in their writings, present their unique views on the conceived notion of a society and principles of social justice. Although their views are similar in some ways, they are also distinctly different. This difference is made clear as Rawls focuses on a scheme of basic rights, stressing a cooperative effort in society while Nozick focuses more on the individual’s right to property. In this paper I will explain both Rawls’s and Nozick’s conceptions of society and principles of social justice....   [tags: A Theory of Justice, John Rawls]

Better Essays
2148 words (6.1 pages)

Essay about The Relationship Between Justice and the Good

- The relationship between justice and the good is and has been debated for thousands of years between many intelligent philosophers. Many theorists have attempted to to explain the exact characteristics and outline a moral distribution of possessions. From just after the First World War to present day, liberal perspectives emerged and flourished across a variety of ideological theories and continue to influence political thinking in regards to rights, equality and freedom. With this emergence came two very influential theorists in libertarian political philosophy, Robert Nozick and John Rawls, who take very different approaches to how justice relates to the good....   [tags: Robert Nozick, John Rawls, liberty]

Better Essays
1558 words (4.5 pages)

Essay about The Distribution Of Wealth By Robert Nozick

- The distribution of wealth is a basically the view on wealth, and the various members or groups in a society. Of course, it differs from the distribution of income in that it looks at the distribution of ownership of the assets in a society, rather that the current income of members of that society. Wealth is the amount of liabilities being taken away from the amount of assets. The world always calculates wealth base off ones’ income, but the do relates with a simple factor of expenses. Distribution of wealth can also be a luck factor, it can be based off family income and family inheritance things of that nature....   [tags: Political philosophy, Liberalism, John Rawls]

Better Essays
1003 words (2.9 pages)

Robert Nozick 's Theory Of Justice Essay

- Robert Nozick was an American philosopher from Harvard University born November 16, 1938. He was the president of the American Philosophical Association and an author of many philosophical books. He is mostly known for his response to John Rawls, A Theory of Justice published in 1971. His response was written in Anarchy, State, and Utopia in 1974 which is considered one of the greatest philosophical writings published. Nozick gives his justification for libertarianism in this work of art. Libertarianism is the idea that the state should have limited power in society while most of the things are controlled by free markets....   [tags: Political philosophy, John Rawls, Justice]

Better Essays
1098 words (3.1 pages)

Robert Nozick 's The State Of Nature Men Essay

- Robert Nozick was a political philosopher who best reflects the political thinking of the United States, to the extent that his work is unthinkable without considering the history and the constitution of the nation. From this starting point Nozick show us that in the state of nature men are entitled on one hand to their lives and safety, and also to self-possession. Inspired by empiricist philosopher John Locke who proclaimed that natural rights exist and are claimable, Nozick claims that his concept of a minimal state is morally justifiable....   [tags: Political philosophy, John Rawls, Justice]

Better Essays
1040 words (3 pages)

Reciprocity : The Principle Of Justice Essay

- Leading to his discussion based on reciprocity, which Rawls argues is contained in his difference principle of justice. The concept of reciprocity can be closely related to rationality, claiming that gains are not made at the expense of others, which orders the maximization of liberty and minimizes inequalities. The view of fairness of ones self and others as equal moral beings. He explained that someone was incapable of gaining from the labor of another person, without doing his or her own fair share of labor....   [tags: Political philosophy, John Rawls]

Better Essays
1225 words (3.5 pages)

Nozick 's The Principle Of Self Ownership Essay

- In this paper, I will examine Nozick’s ‘whatever arises from a just situation by just steps is itself just’ formula. By this formula, Nozick protects individuals’ absolute property rights. To examine its validity, first, I will show that Nozick’s entitlement theory relies on Kantian principle, which demands treating everyone as persons having individual rights with dignity. However, it will be clear that Kantian theory does not necessarily yield the concept of absolute property rights. Second, I will explain the principle of self-ownership, which will clarify that persons have rights over their bodies and powers....   [tags: Property, John Locke, Ownership, Copyright]

Better Essays
1929 words (5.5 pages)

Essay on The Redistribution Of Holdings And Wealth

- The Redistribution of holdings and wealth is a concept embraced by many advocates of socialism. Redistribution entails relocating wealth and resources from one group of citizens to another, usually via taxation. This paper will deeply examine the liberal argument for redistribution as well as the libertarian counterargument against the concept and will at last decide whether or not redistribution belongs within a just society. After examining the difference between liberals and libertarians the argument of philosopher John Rawls advocating in favor of redistribution will be presented followed by a corresponding libertarian counterargument....   [tags: Political philosophy, Liberalism, John Rawls]

Better Essays
1080 words (3.1 pages)