Property-Owning Democracy 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:
Property-Owning Democracy and the Difference Principle

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This chapter discusses John Rawls’s conception of property-owning democracy and how it is related to his difference principle. Rawls says that the main problem of distributive justice is the choice of a social system. Property-owning democracy is the social system that Rawls thought best realizes the requirements of his principles of justice. This chapter explains why Rawls thought that welfare-state capitalism could not fulfill his principles and discusses the connection between welfare-state capitalism and utilitarianism. It also clarifies the crucial role of democratic reciprocity and the social bases of self-respect in Rawls’s argument for both the difference principle and property-owning democracy.

Keywords: economic justice; property-owning democracy; Rawls; distributive justice; welfare-state capitalism; utilitarianism

Chapter.  13764 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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