A theory of justice by John Rawls


In A Theory of Justice, Rawls argues that the concepts of freedom and equality are not mutually exclusive. His assessment of the justice system leads him to conclude that for justice to be truly just, everyone must be afforded the same rights under the law.

  • In the first part of the book, Rawls asks: if everyone were stripped of their privileges and social status and made entirely equal, what kind of justice system would they want to be subject to? He includes that the only logical choice is to pick a system that treats people equally, regardless of their race, class, gender, etc.

  • In the second part, he discusses how his theory of justice would affect institutions today. Without pointing fingers, he makes it clear that no one is living up to his standards.

  • In the third part, he describes the good effects that a real justice system can have on society.


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