Justice as Fairness by John Rawls — A Summary

Clueless Political Scientist


Rawls, John. 1958. “Justice as Fairness.” The Philosophical Review 67 (2). [Duke University Press, Philosophical Review]: 164–94.
http://www.jstor.org/stable/2182612.


Section I claims that the fundamental idea for the concept of justice is fairness.

Section II introduces the two principles of this conception.

Section III explains how these two principles are arrived at.

Section IV pre-empts possible criticisms against justice as fairness as developed in Sections II and III.

Section V sketches why fairness should be central to any concept of justice.

Section VI characterises the utilitarian conception of justice as one concerned with efficacy.

Section VII discusses why such utilitarianism fails as a conception of justice.

I

The fundamental idea in the concept of justice is fairness. The paper will try to justify this claim. It is this aspect of justice (as fairness) that classical utilitarianism fails to account for.

Three things should be kept in mind. First, justice is…

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About Jim Rose

Utopia - you are standing in it promotes a classical liberal view of the world and champion the mass flourishing of humanity through capitalism and the rule of law. The origin of the blog is explained in the first blog post at https://utopiayouarestandinginit.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/why-call-my-blog-utopia-you-are-standing-in-it/

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