Explain John Rawls's A Theory of Justice.

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The short answer to this question can be found in an Rawls essay from 1985 entitled "Justice as Fairness." Rawls imagined this as a sort of middle way between liberal democracies that typically looked to individual freedom as the object of all policy and socialists who argued that equality was the source of meaningful freedom. Like many philosophers, Rawls was preoccupied with what justice was, and how societies should (or whether they should) attempt to structure themselves to bring about or promote justice.

What this meant in practice was that institutions should be structured in such a way that people with similar abilities had similar opportunities. Since people had no control over the factors that limited opportunities, Rawls argued that societies should function in such a way to eliminate these factors. In his book A Theory of Justice , Rawls used a famous thought experiment to illustrate his theory. He considered a hypothetical situation in which each of us could choose the kind of...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 853 words.)

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