Conference Notes #8 Tiger Zheng
Rawls on Justice
If laws or institutions, no matter how effective or efficient, are unjust than
they must be abolished.
o He rejects utilitarianism – that is to say, because everyone’s claim to
just treatment is legitimate, we cannot override one individual’s
justice for the benefit of everyone else
Rawls is a proponent of Social Contract theory
o Society is formed for the benefit of everyone involved
o The goal of a society is to generate a series of rules that benefit
everyone in the group.
o He believes that men are to decide in advance of the commonwealth
how to divvy up the social benefits.
A society is well ordered only if it meets two criteria
o Everyone accepts and knows that the others’ accept the same
principles of justice
o The basic social institutions generally satisfy and are generally known
to satisfy these principles.
A society should maintain that each action by its members are consistent
with justice, and must be able to prevent further violations in the events
when certain actions run against societal justice.
o Society then, is based