John Rawls's View Of Social Justice In Society

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Rawls was dissatisfied with the traditional philosophical arguments about what makes a social institution just and about what justifies political or social actions and policies. The utilitarian argument holds that societies should pursue the greatest good for the greatest number. This argument has a number of problems, including, especially, that it seems to be consistent with the idea of the tyranny of majorities over minorities. The intuitionist argument holds that humans intuit what is right or wrong by some innate moral sense. This is also problematic because it simply explains away justice by saying that people “know it when they see it,” and it fails to deal with the many conflicting human intuitions. Rawls attempts to establish a reasoned account of social justice through the social contract approach. This approach holds that a society is in some sense an agreement among all those within that society. If a society were an agreement, Rawls asks, what kind of arrangement would everyone agree to? He states that the contract is a purely hypothetical one: He does not argue that people…show more content…
The claim that rational individuals behind a veil of ignorance would choose the greatest possible equality has been challenged as arbitrary and unverifiable. Rational individuals might well choose a social structure with large rewards for the majority of people and small rewards for the minority on the grounds that one is more likely to end up as part of a majority than a minority. Moreover, the veil of ignorance of where one will be in a society also takes away all knowledge of what one will do. Legal justice is generally considered a matter of appropriate responses to actions: In the version offered by Rawls, justice is detached from anything that anyone has done and thus may have nothing to do with any idea of what people
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