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A Theory of Justice Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 50 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Theory of Justice.
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Justice as Fairness

In A Theory of Justice, Rawls begins with the statement that, "Justice is the first virtue of social institution," meaning that a good society is one structured according to principals of justice. Rawls asserts that existing theories of justice, developed in the field of philosophy, are not adequate: "My guiding aim is to work out a theory of justice that is a viable alternative to these doctrines which have long dominated our philosophical tradition." He calls his theory—aimed at formulating a conception of the basic structure of society in accordance with social justice—justice as fairness.

Rawls sets forth to determine the essential principles of justice on which a good society may be based. He explains the importance of principles of justice for two key purposes: first, to "provide a way of assigning rights and duties in the basic institutions of society"; and secondly...

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This section contains 899 words
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Buy the A Theory of Justice Study Guide
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A Theory of Justice from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.