Chapter

Rawls on Distributive Justice and the Difference Principle

Samuel Freeman

in Liberalism and Distributive Justice

Published in print September 2018 | ISBN: 9780190699260
Published online July 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780190699291 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190699260.003.0004
Rawls on Distributive Justice and the Difference Principle

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This chapter analyzes Rawls’s complex account of distributive justice. Rawls’s difference principle requires that economic systems be organized so that the least advantaged members of society are better off than they would be in any alternative economic arrangement. The following questions are addressed here: What constraints are imposed by equal basic liberties and fair equality of opportunity on inequalities allowed by the difference principle? What are the difference principle’s broad and narrow requirements? Is maximizing the least advantaged position mandatory regardless of the...

Keywords: difference principle; distributive justice; economic justice; welfare-state capitalism; property-owning democracy; basic liberties; equality of opportunity; prioritarianism; ideal and non-ideal theory

Chapter.  13633 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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