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Justice Rights and The State - Essay Example

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Leading ethical philosopher Rawls’ “Theory of Justice” (1971) is an undertaking to address the concept of distributive justice through the classic philosophical model of the social contract as propounded by Kant. However, Rawls challenges pre-existing theorem and goes…
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Justice Rights and The State
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Download file to see previous pages However, whilst Rawls acknowledges that the “Justice as Fairness” model is rooted in “Kant’s notion of autonomy”; Rawls argues that “it is a mistake, I believe to emphasise the place of generality and universality in Kant’s ethics….. it is impossible to construct a moral theory on so slender a basis, and therefore to limit the discussion of Kant’s doctrine to these notions is to reduce it to triviality” (Rawls, 1999, (ed) p.221).
“No one knows his place in society, his class position or social status, nor does anyone know his fortune in the distribution of natural assets and abilities, his intelligence, strength and the like. I shall even assume that the parties do not know their conceptions of the good or their special psychological propensities. The principles of justice are chosen behind a veil of ignorance” (Rawls, 1999 (ed), p.118).
However, whilst Rawls theory of justice supports an element of the Kantian social contract philosophy; Rawls denounces Kant’s ideal of a cosmopolitan constitution under the cosmopolitan theory of justice and the focus of this paper is to critically evaluate Rawls’ theory in relation to the cosmopolitan theory of justice and provide a contextual critique of his philosophical model. To this end, I shall firstly evaluate the core elements of Rawls’ theory of justice and comparatively analyse this with leading proponents of cosmopolitan justice theory.
As highlighted above, Rawls’ theory of justice propounds the liberty and difference principle, which alters the classic model of the social contract by justifying social inequality within a distributive “veil of ignorance” justification.
On this basis, Rawls’ veil of ignorance proposition suggests that individuals in a society will inherently demonstrate a propensity towards a system of equality, which mirrors Kant’s social contract theory. In ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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