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Compare and Assess Rawls and Nozick's Theories of Justice - Essay Example

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Compare and assess Rawls and Nozick's theories of justice. Instructor Name Compare and assess Rawls and Nozick's theories of justice. John Rawls (born in 1921) and Robert Nozick (1938) had been the two most influential and prominent late twentieth century’s political philosophers…
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Compare and Assess Rawls and Nozicks Theories of Justice
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"Compare and Assess Rawls and Nozick's Theories of Justice"

Download file to see previous pages By using social contract as a device he formulated his theory on ethical basis which has been quite opposing to the concepts of utilitarianism. He further provided justification about the concept of re-distribution of wealth based upon the individualist assumptions. This philosophical work of Rawls has been quite inspirational for both the social democratic and the liberals. He also presented his theory on “justice as fairness” that highlighted two core principles i.e. Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others (this principle reflects a traditional liberal commitment to formal equality) Social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both (a) to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged; and (B) attached to positions and offices open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity (this so-called 'difference principle) points towards a significant measure of social inequality According to the Rawls theory the material inequalities can only be justified when they are used to be of advantage to those who are least well-off. This theory of Rawls is well-matched to the concept of a market economy whereby the re-distribution of wealth is done in terms of tax and welfare systems that ultimately leads to disincentive to firms and ultimately turns out disadvantageous for the least well-off. The egalitarianism of Rawls is based on the social contract theory however there is also some contradiction as he starts with a very liberal assumption about humans and then gives very broad conclusion in terms of egalitarianism considering distribution of wealth as fair by the people(hawk n.d.). Robert NozicksTheory of Anarchy, State and Utopia The major philosophical work presented by Robert Nozick was in 1974 as “Anarchy, State and Utopia” in which he presented a libertarianism point of view. According to this theory he rejects the belief of those having welfare views in terms of modern liberalism however he endorsed the concept of minimal state. Nozick placed his view of justice and equality upon the idea of entitlements and rights. This ideology is somewhat reflective of the notion of distributive thought presented by Aristotle and Plato in which they suggested that the material benefits should correspond to the worth of an individual. According the views presented on rights it is believed that the inequality in material is justifiable in this way that the talent and willingness of a person to work are unequally distributed. The basis of Nozicks work is to distinguish between the historical principles of justice and the end-state principles. According to his view the needs of individuals and social equality are unjustifiable in relation to rewards. He gave the principles through which it can be found whether the distribution of wealth is just, these principles are as: 1. Wealth has to be justly acquired in the first place, that is, it should not have been stolen and the rights of others should not have been infringed 2. Wealth has to be justly transferred from one responsible person to another 3. If wealth has been acquired or transferred unjustly this injustice should be rectified According to these principles Nozick justifies that the inequality in distribution of we ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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