John Rawl vs Robert Nozick

Topics: Political philosophy, Liberalism, John Rawls Pages: 4 (1294 words) Published: June 11, 2013
John Rawls’ system of justice (Welfare liberalism) is at odds with Robert Nozick’s Classical liberalist position. Argumentatively discuss. There is a variety of perception on economic or distributive justice, material goods and services have no intrinsic value but are valuable only if they are shared. My essay is a critique and argument of John Rawl’s system of justice against Robert Nozick’s classical liberalism. I am in support of Nozick’s theory and will elaborate how the system of justice works within the society. John Rawls and Robert Nozick both agree on the point of view of human beings are considered equal and free (Schaefer, 2006). John Rawls claimed that the citizens had a veil of ignorance, which meant that the citizens makes a choice without the knowledge of their social position or natural abilities ( Langan, 1977). John Rawls implemented and supported two principles of justice which he thought will be universally accepted. First was the principle of liberty which he explained that each person has the right to the greatest equal liberty possible. The second principle was the principle of difference which stated that social and economic differences in society could only be justified if they benefited the worst off (Costa, 2009). John Rawls moral benchmark was equality towards all social and political institutions, and felt that any deviation from equality must be justified. According to (Costa, 2009), the central element of Rawls argument is in support of his principles of justice which is the citizens being free and equal. While (langan,2001) argues that Rawls main advocacy was for the balancing of conflict liberties, where there is no specific priority or value for any liberty. Rawls looked into freedom for citizens in political liberty, freedom of speech assembly, liberty of conscience and freedom of thought. Robert Nozick had a different idea to it, he claimed that rights to be absolute and not prima facie, he...

References: Brown ,A. (2012). Rawls, Buchanan and the Legal Doctrine of legitimate Expectations. Social Theory and Practice. 38(4). 617
Francis, J. & Francis, L. (1976). Nozick’s Theory of Rights: A Critical Assessment. The Western Political Quarterly. 29(4) 634-644
Hevia, M. & Spector, E. (2008). The Bizarre World of Historical Theories of Justice: Revisiting Nozick’s Argument. Social Theory and Practice. 34(4). 533-549
Langan ,J. P. (1977). Rawls ,Nozick and The Search For Social Justice. Theological Studies. 38(2). 346-358
Schaefer, D.L. (2007). Procedural versus substantive justice: Rawls and Nozick. Social Philosophy and Policy.24(1). 164-186
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