Theories of Justice Essay

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Even if Rawls is successful in demonstrating that it would be rational to choose his two principles of justice in the original position, this does not imply that we must accept them in reality.

Every political and moral theory should ensure that the scope of the subjects that appear in its judgment is defined. Modern justice theories that are based on tradition evaluate fairness and obligation for people' morals. Naturalistic, normative, or metaphysical limitations are used to support the argument. Its original thought is that fair distribution of advantages and equality are to be considered as the background matter in the legal and constitution provision for the social structure institutions. The distributive justice focuses on the principles which deal with the interconnection between human beings. According to Rawls, the formal justice constraints on the employment of justice, a description of the conditions that people operate (Rawls 2001, p. 12). Thus, Rawls considers the limitations as necessary and essential for human existence.

The fundamental principles that Rawl insisted on are the following:

• Each person should be entitled to the most extensive liberities that are compatible with the equal fundamental liberties.

• The economic and social inequaties are to be arranged for them to be attached to all positions and offices that are open to fair opportunit's equality of conditions as well as the greatest benefits to the least advantage which are consistent.

Despite the two principles being rational, we are not obliged to accept and adopt them in real life.

The condition of moral obligation is considered to be the circumstance of justice in reference to Rawl's conceptualization. Naturally, people have a common interest in living together which promotes their welfare. More so, individuals engage in conflicts as they aim at acquiring a preponderant share of the collegial product (Heyd 2007, p. 124). A consensus principle of distributive justice is required although human cooperation is necessary and possible when people live in the same region and have similar concerns as well as equal power. In times of scarcity, a rise in the conflicts may be expected as everyone rushes to get their share which is against the first principle, hence, it is difficult to obliege with it.

According to Rawls, the principles of justice are correlated with the mutuality and reciprocity conditions (Rawls 2001, p. 12).. However, there are some issues which have been omitted in Rawl's moral principles such as human sympathy, the Kantian respect for other people, and the duty of the Christian to nature their salvation (Rawls 2001, p. 12). However, cooperation occurs when human beings can benefit from each other, and they are mutually in need. Hence, due to the Rawl's tendency to omit some concepts in his work, it fails to compel us to follow the principles he proposes.

The principle of the equal liberty which Rawls insists on focuses on the distribution of liberties and rights, freedom of speech, power to own private property, freedom of arbitrary arrest and others (Rawls 2001, p. 12). He does not state the conditions which the principles should work under. For example, he does not state the condition where the freedom of speech is not viable such as in public congregations. Therefore, the principles do not state certain conditions which the principle is based on; hence, it does not compel the society to follow it.

Rawls asserts that the status of the youths in the community is determined by the decision of the concerned parties. Thus, to understand the concept of justice based on this theory, we focus on the decision makers. The application of the principles selected is associated with abortion discussion and to determine the extent of satisfaction of the principles of paternalism is quite instrumental (Heyd 2007, p. 116). According to his 'A Theory of Justice', the concept of justice is founded on the original thought which entails the equality and fair distribution of advantages which are essential in decision making. However, an agreement is made on the principles governing the society, and it will exist after the parties have left the 'original position.' Thus, the approach of Rawls comes from this point because he writes in his social-contract tradition. According to Rawls, justice is aimed to attaining a contract, compact, promise, and agreement behind the institutions and the principles of the society. The contract and the promise govern the society after they have left the original position (Rawl 1971, p. 34).

Although the author has succeeded in indicating that it would be rational to adopt his principles of justice, it does not mean that we have an obligation to accept them in the real world situation. For purposes of motivating the thought experiment concerning the design of the society, it is worth assuming that there are things of value which are worth people's attention. In case the issue was just on the distribution of the populations, then it would not bother anybody to imagine how the design from the original position and after the veil of ignorance yield to (Mulgan 2002, p. 14).

According to Rawl, the valued things which promote justice are status, wealth, and power. However, the basis for which we should assume that wealth pre-exists is questionable (Rawls 1971, p. 56). Hence, it is important to set the property rule prior to coming up with the distribution policy to ensure there is just. The philosopher assumes that wealth pre-exists in his principles of justice. The assumption is questionable due to the traits of human beings who are competitive in nature (Mulgan 2002, p. 14). Therefore, for a principle to be acceptable, there must be a well defined rule which does not exist in this context, therefore, hard to oblige to such .

According to Rawls, justice depends on the manner by which the less fortunate are treated. It does not consider the appeal of the right or those who are smart. The situation in the society is not acceptable since justice should be for all individuals irrespective of the social status. Hence, since Rawls does not include all individuals in his principles, there is no push to acceptance in following it in reality (Rawls 1971, p. 68).

One of the key definition of justice in Rawls' perception is as the agreement between people in the veil of ignorance which is a method for determining the molarily of the political issues (Rawls 1971, p. 63). However, the justice defination is questionable since an agreement can be hypocritical and may yield to a questionable conclusion (Zink, 2011 p. 333). Also, the arguments and beliefs may vary from one culture to another which may encourage the practice of immoral deeds. Hence, it is difficult to accept the principles that have been derived from the concept of the veil of ignorance (Alan 2006, p. 20).

The theory of justice by Rawls is incomplete due to its failure to incorporate the issues of moral obligations. However, the opposition of the theory does not set a standard or criteria for its justification in being complete and concerned with the aspects of justice that should be addressed (Alan 2006, p. 20). The challenge does not aim at showing a particular view of the theory of moral duties and status of people but highlights the failures of the theory to depict the aspects. A theory of justice should address and acknowledge the issues of moral responsibilities and status of humans. From Rawls' part, there is sympathy from the disadvantaged, who are considered as the minority and more vulnerable in comparison to other members of the family (Sharon 2013, p. 117).

As suggested in ' Theory of Justice,', the selected community leaders during the the societal activities are factored as the head of the family (Rawls 1971, p.89). The participants that Rawls considers in his argument are that they represent the family lines. Thus, feminists such as Susan Moller argue that the question of justice within the families is unnoticed as Rawls gives all the authority to the contractors (Okulicz-Kozaryn, Holmes and Avery 2014, p. 1305). Moreso, the assumption that Rawls adheres to it is that the motivation to have the family head aims at making the family immune to criticism of justice and moral responsibilities. He acknowledges his justice-based obligations to future generations. Thus, the appropriation of the role of the head of the family is achieved later in life. However, Rawls does not consider the head-of-families supposition in the 'Political Liberalism' to take another solution for the problem of justice for future generation. He creates room for his opinion accomodation about justice for the human race. He proposes a view of people in the 'Political Liberalism' that concurs and is compatible with his general views (Rawls 2005, p. 245).

Jeffrey (2005) argues that Rawls offers little explanation and assurance about the requirements of justice (p. 461). First, in the "Theory of Justice", Rawls does not provide anything to safeguard the young due to the adoption of the assumption of having the head of a family in each household. From the theory's evaluation, it comes evident that the justice for the youths while assessing the household heads' requirement enjoy the key emphasss. Rawls confirms the assumption in "Political Liberalism" without the inclusion of the account of the realization of justice (Rawls 2005, p. 112). The other key concept that are evident in the two books, "A Theory of Justice" and "Political Liberalism," is the lack of real resources which are essential in the development of the the account of justice (Mahasweta 2011, p. 200). However, Rawls makes proposals on the issues of justice but does not give an account of how the justice can be achieved. Hence, he provides a theoretical context of justice which lacks practical techniques for its implementation; therefore, it is difficult to be applied to in real life.

The principles of justice by Rawls indicate that choosing the practices from the original position may have grave consequences on the issue of abortion. According to Rawls, just treatment must have a moral personality which fits with the Thomistic status of the fetus. In the current society, many fetuses are aborted due to the changes in-laws and technology. The nature of the fetus is not personalized in due course of law (Andrius 2017, 300). The historical fact about abortion is that fetus is not recognized by the law as moral human beings. But as argued by Rawls, even the fetus are entitled to the full justice and need to be protected from any harm(Rawls 2001, p. 16). Hence, there is always a conflict between the written law or the Constitution and the Rawl's argument, which shows rationality but there is still adequate evidence why one should accept and oblige to it (Zink, 2011 p. 333).

When focusing on character and development,Wizje argues that fetuses do not qualify to be subject to justice. It is recommended that we treat other people equally regardless of whether we know them or not. Wizje does not have the standard libertarian justification for permitting abortions (Wijze 2000, p. 260). According to the libertarian position, an individual does not have binding obligations to support others. Thus, a mother does not have any obligations to raise a child regardless the claims that the fetus already has a personality. Rawls further asserts that people have a natural duty to offer low-cost aid to the impaired in the society (Rawls 2001, p. 13). However, Rawls proposes that the responsibility for a person to help others is possible only when they are not subject to any risks. The utilitarian formulation has some weaknesses that exist because when costs are subjective, there is the lack of scientific testing to prove the potential for a single event (Leeuw, 2003). Thus, it is hard to determine when to punish an individual for the omission of duty of mutual aid.

Another key issue that relates to abortion pertains its priority on the mutual aid duty. However, the aspect is underdeveloped based on the accounts forwarded by Rawls. Some critics argue that the position of Rawls may help in the prevention of abortion and facilitate the enactment of the law that may prohibit it. Rawls further adheres to the Kantian justification of duty. According to Kant, mutual aid principle should be acknowledged in theory (Pavão, 2013). Rawls also explains that social life would be unpleasant and different if human beings did not know that they could support others in achieving their personal goals (Rodas 2010, p. 104). He is convinced that self-esteem would be impossible in such circumstances. In a society which does not embrace the mutual aid principle, the individuals going through stressful situations such as various traumas may be unable to overcome them.

The parties in the authentic position have chosen the principle of paternalism, which could help in protecting the people, and were vital to the feeble-minded who seek personal protection (Hartley, 2014 p. 420). According to Rawls, some people may be forced to work or act on behalf of others. Thus, the description of the principle of paternalism authorizes involuntary mental hospitalization for the nonaggressive people (Patrick 2002, p. 56). Rawls uses all means to govern the incapacitated in the society(Zink, 2011 p. 333). He does not consider the fact that a person can decide to make a separate contractual provision for various forms of incapacitation at different times. Thus, Rawls seems to force people to act as volunteers, without leaving a chance to those who do it out of goodwill (Hartley, 2014 p. 421). Hence, the above information shows that Rawls argument might be rational, but does not compel us to oblige to it due to some weaknesses.

Pierre-Yves (2015) asserts that Rawls dictates a 'real will notion.' The author suggests that decision-making should not be done individually, and one should always take into consideration the society's opinion. In the current regime, it is permissible to restrict an individual's liberty if he does not have a rational choice as well as acting in contrary to the moral principles (Amartya 2002). Thus, Rawls does not consider the fact that definition of rational choice should be made in line with uninformed decisions which might also be ill-considered or emotional. Moreover, Rawls argues that the youths can make rational decisions. The conclusions provided by the Rawl does not offer real moral obligations to the people (Knight and Albertsen, 2015 p. 539). Hence, the failure to indicate them makes the society unable to compel with their requirements.

According to Rawls, the conventions of justice for the key institutions are chosen by the contractors who come up with them from the 'veil of ignorance' (Rawls 2001, p. 12). The concept shows that the parties to the contract do not understand their role and place in the society, their social status, class as well as their level of strength and intelligence due to the dictated role derived from the veil of ignorance (Wayne 2015, p. 45). Thus, the parties to the contract do not understand their generation and the circumstances of the society. The theory's main aim under the veil is to enhance the participants who do not know their position despite been able to lift it (Abraham 2015, p. 67). The veil also aims at ensuring that the parties do not decide the principles tailored to their advantage upon lifting. Hence, the theory does not work to the benefit of the individual and may lead rather to disadvantages than the advantages which makes it uncompelling to adopt.

Respectively, Rawls urgues that neutralizing effect of the veil is ineffective due to its inability to secure justice for everyone. Thus, the central question is to evaluate the group of people left out after Rawls assertions. Also, it is as well biased in coming up with a decision for the future generations (Okon 2014, p. 26). The veil fails to make an impartial choice for the individuals in the original position as they understand their roles as contemporary. Thus, the people take the present entry time as interpretation and can favor their generation by not allowing any sacrifices for their successors, hence; they acknowledge the principle that no person has the duty to save for posterity (Paulo 2016, p. 23). Therefore, Rawls concludes that the society cannot do anything to cause a sustaining effect for the future generations basing on their past references.

Based on the veil of ignorance, it 's hard for the self-centered individuals to transform the lives of the future generations for the better. However, Rawls claims that individuals have a justice-based obligation to determine the fate of the generations to come (Rawls 2001, p. 13). People have the mandate to ensure that the parties in the authentic position select the principles which are wise for the sake of the unborn (Pierre-Yves 2015, p. 102). Rawls suggests that the parties in the authentic position should be considered as the family heads and not just individuals, hence, more powerful in the decision making. The parties represent the family lines and focus on the ties between successive groups (Ragip and Herrade 2010, p. 1024). They should select a just saving's principle which elvborates that current generations owe the future ones as opposed to choosing a non-savings one.

Rawls theories leave out essential issues of justice in family aspects that lead to the inability in producing real moral obligations. The theory proposes that there is no need for the discussion about the rules of justice within the household if the head of the family is the main point of focus (Munger and Colleen 2016, p. 174). However, some individuals argue that if we consider the contractors as the family representatives that aim at providing resiponsibly for the family, it will cause lack of motivation for the contractors to discuss rules that apply to their families. The contractors will not be worried that they will become less influential members after lifting the veil. The situation forces the subjects to drop out of Rawls contracts picture. Rawls argument suggests that the interests of the topics are represented by the parent thus their issue about justice should not be discussed further (Rawls 2001, p. 13). Hence, there is minimal information on the family justice, therefore, less detailed concept for the individuals to compel with.

According to Castano (2013), the aspect of identification, intuitions, and affections with the best interests of others should incorporate the common principles to create a balance when there is the conflict of interest within spheres of love. Thus, Rawls does not consider this aspect as he makes the family opaque in considering the principle of justice (Rawls 2001, p. 14). The theory had created danger in the family cycle in nations such as Canada in 1980s when there are numerous cases of children homicide (Basillio and Juan 2016, p. 1285). In two-thirds of the cases, the killers were parents. The statistics about homicide in Canada are just focused on the under-age, but there are other cases which involve brutal torture, emotional and physical abuse. Some families offer a safe, caring and loving environment for their youngsters, but unfortunately, not all the families. Thus, the theory is not just due to its failure in protecting the society in general. The youths are part of a community, and a just society does not allow part of its people to get harmed (Christie 2014, pg. 2012). The status of individuals living within the family should not be exempted from the protections in the society as highlighted by Rawls. Hence, people's failure to oblige to the theory is evident as a result of denying equal justice to all.

The other failure of the theories proposed by Rawls in administering moral responsibilities to the society is the assumptions of the head-of-families and motivational presumptions. The assumptions are not liberal because they make the family institution invisible while considering the issues of justice. The concept is also not right since it weakens the claims that Rawls makes on the just savings convention and administration of justice for the future generation. Rawls argues that the heads of the families offer duties of justice to the descendants (Rodas 2010, p. 94).

The second failure of Rawls' theories is the inability to transfer care to the next generations (Zink, 2011 p. 333). Thus, people are not aware of what will happen after the heads-of-families descease. The worry is usually based on the assumptions motivational pull. Some people usually extend their care towards their descendant while others do not (Okulicz-Kozaryn, Holmes and Avery 2014, p. 1335). Thus, people have doubts whether to accept the requirements passed by the heads-of-families assumptions. Rawls fails to clarify the issue about descendants and how the heads of the family will take good care of such victims, hence, it is difficult to accept the concept .

Rawls argument does not achieve its task as it assumes that guaranteeing justice for the future implies that the people already know and care about their fate (Knight and Albertsen, 2015 p. 539). The theory proposes that since people care about the future generations, they should ensure that the youths are fully entitled to their right which will lead to sustainability. The theory argues that people do not require justice because they care about the future generations, but for self-sufficiency (Christie 2014, pg. 2012). More so, people should not bother asking whether the family heads will care of them because less emphasis is made on the future generations (Sunajko 2016, p. 77). Thus, many moral theorists have rejected the assertions by Rawls about moral justice.

In conclusion, the theories of "Political Liberalism" and "A Theory of Justice" highlight the various aspects of justice in the society despite them failing to define the scope of subjects that come under its judgment. Moral obligations should apply to all human beings without focusing on their age or sex (Christie 2014, pg. 2012). Various propositions from famous philosophers show that moral principles are important in life. Bentham alludes that moral principles apply to all beings while Kant proposes that they do to those who are rational. Thus, the moral and political theories explain the occurrences of the key responsibilities based on the normative principles.

Rawls has highlighted the two theories despite them missing out vital explanation about justice and moral obligations to the other people. Rawls also offers a solid argument that promotes abortion basing his urgument on the assertions of mutual aid. Rawls does not create an inclusive society for the people, which makes the theories unable to generate moral obligations and justice. Justice should be simply viewed as the equal treatment of all people in a society regardless of their social classes and positions in the communities. The arguments presented by the author of the original position leaves a lot of spaces unfilled as it highly leans on the less fortunate, hence, generating inequality.Hence, there is enough evidence to proof the concept that even if Rawls succeeds in showing that it would be rational to choose his two principles of justice in the original position, it does not follow that we are obliged to accept them.


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June 06, 2023

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