In the Theory of Justice (1971), Rawls offered an alternative to utilitarianism that led to different conclusions about justice. He asserted that if people had to choose principles of justice from behind a "veil of ignorance" that restricted their understanding of their own position in the society as a result of which they would protect their liberty and safeguard themselves against the worst possible outcome.
[...] So, the principles of justice are chosen behind a veil of ignorance (One of the criticisms made to Rawls' theory is that it seeks for impartiality, but ignores that although behind the veil of ignorance people reason in a prudential way, and their reasoning is constrained by their ignorance, which breaks impartiality). Since everyone is similarly situated and no one is able to design principles to favor his particular condition, the principles of justice are the result of a fair agreement or bargain. [...]
[...] Rawls leaves clear that a person cannot elaborate a principle of justice according to his own interests, and that is why he establishes his veil of ignorance, supposing then five resulting formal conditions. These conditions are supposed to eliminate egoist conceptions: 1. the principles of justice are general universal, since applied to everyone without distinction known by everyone, so that people are aware of what kind of engagement they are coming into obey an hierarchy - the first principle must be regarded as being one step up from he second unchangeable - you cannot modify the principles. [...]
[...] The adoption of the social contract position is followed by the elaboration of a Constitution (Here is another critic often made to Rawls' Theory of Justice: he claims his theory to be universal, but the way he suggests the application of his principles of justice and his construction of a just society is clearly applied to constitutional democracies, as he leaves clear in his urge for the elaboration of a Constitution) that ought to be just, once it ought to be based on the principles of justice. [...]
[...] Rawls' concern is to construct the principles of justice, and he revises the general conception of his theory of justice in the following way: social primary goods: liberty and opportunity, income and wealth and the bases of self-respect are to be distributed equally, unless an unequal distribution of any or all of these goods is to the advantage of the least favored.” He considers that his theory of justice brings at least the reply to the question of knowing which are the principles of justice that should organize the terms of social cooperation between free and equal persons, and another important idea is the view of equality as “equality of opportunities”, and that is what can be understood by his “difference principle” (Thinking about the question démocratie est-elle compatible avec l'inégalité?” , equality of opportunities is an important notion that might help develop an interesting answer). [...]
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