`In a just society', wrote John Rawls, '...the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests'. Existing societies seldom adhere to this principle, for what is just or unjust is usually in dispute. Professor Rawls sets out the principle of justice that free and rational persons would accept in an initial position of equality. After the first theoretical part of the book, which concludes with a persuasive critique of Utilitarianism, the author sets out to illustrate the content of his two principles of justice. He describes the basic structure that ideally satisfies these principles and examines the duties and obligations to which they give rise. Finally, he connects the theory of justice with a doctrine of the good. This book is intended for general readers with an interest in moral philosophy, the principles of justice. Students (undergraduate and above) of moral philosophy, law, and political philosophy.
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A Theory of Justice by John Rawls is one of the books by which our age will be remembered: perhaps the most important work of moral and political philosophy of the twentieth century, a classic to stand alongside Kant and Mill. Rawls argues that the correct principles of justice are those that would be agreed to by free and rational persons, placed in the 'original position' behind a veil of ignorance: not knowing their own place in society; their class, race, or sex; their abilities, intelligence, or strengths; or even their conception of the good. Accordingly, he derives two principles of justice to regulate the distribution of liberties, and of social and economic goods. In this revised edition the work is presented as Rawls himself wishes it to be transmitted to posterity, with numerous minor revisions and amendments and a new Preface in which Rawls reflects on his presentation of his thesis and explains how and why he has revised it.About the Author:
John Rawls was James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University. He was recipient of the 1999 National Humanities Medal.
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