me try to start us off. John Rawls
published his most famous and influential book, A Theory of Justice,
in 1971. Everyone agrees that the book was a milestone that gave new
life to political philosophy in America.
I thought that I would start by trying to say
what Rawls is attempting to do in his Theory of Justice.
It's a large book; but, speaking very broadly, he wants to do the following:
- Formulate principles of justice that can be applied to the
basic structure of society.
- Supply persuasive reasons for accepting those
- Reduce the problem of
finding principles of justice to what he calls pure procedure. In
other words, he hopes to define a procedure such
that if it is followed, the principles it produces are the
acceptable and appropriate principles of justice simply because
they are produced using that procedure.
- Show that a society
based on his principles of justice is feasible and would be stable.
- Criticize alternative theories of justice such
as theories based on the ethical principle of utility.
We've all been reading Rawls. Ayesha, can
you say something about justice and basic social structure?