Critically examine Rawl’s Theory of justice.
Ernest Barker tells that the term ‘justice’ is derived from a Latin word ‘just’ which means the idea of joining or fitting, the idea of bond or tie. Justice, thus, is what combines the values of equality, liberty and fraternity in one frame.
The broad dimensions of justice are :
- Legal justice
- Economic justice
- Political justice
- Social justice
- John Rawl’s gave his concept of justice in his book ‘A Theory of Justice’ published in 1917. The book illuminates certain important social problems and basic issues and is a classical expression of modern view of justice.
- He describes justice as the first virtue of social institutions and its operates over the distribution of goods in the society.
- Rawls develops a contractarian theory of justice in the traditions of Hobbes, lock and Rousseau. According to Rawls: (i) All the individuals under the strike of nature are mutually indifferent. In other words, as long as they satisfy their own interest, they do not suffer form envy.(ii) In agreeing to form a society these individuals seek to maximize satisfaction of their own interest. (iii) They will be under a veil of ignorance which prevents them from knowing the full details of others’s talents.
- Justice and Fairners arguments and ‘veil of Ignorance Technique,
- Rawls’ maximizing principle,
- Two principles of justice and priority of liberty principle.
- At social and economic level, Rawls is in favor of re distributive justice.
- Rawls theory of justice is in consonance with the requirements of liberal democratic welfare state. His theory postulates constitutional democracy which is restrained, respectable and accountable. It believes in the regulation of free economy in many ways.