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Critically evaluate John Rawls claim in political liberalism to justify Justice as Fairness as a political conception.
Pages 19 (4769 words)
Rawls’ Justice as Fairness: A Political Conception 1. Introduction Questions germane to issues of justice, human nature, and the political have long been part of the ongoing discourse pertinent to understanding human predicament (Barak, 2012). In modern society, there is a seeming consensus that pluralism is an integral characterization of modern democracy (Gaus, 1999; Gutmann, 1994; Lehning 1998).
In liberalism, the individual, which is the moral and ethical foundation in which it is established, asserts that it is under democracy, “the whole force of the community, the person and goods of every associate, and by means of which each, uniting with all, nevertheless obeys only himself, and remains as free as before” (Rousseau 1989 bk 1 ch 6). As such, the free, rational, and autonomous individual serves as the main image of human persons. However, these attributes give rise to the question how can liberal strangers be turned into democratic citizens. In other words, how can the free and rational individual (liberal strangers) be political (become democratic citizens)? John Rawls’ political liberalism is one of the several approaches use in determining the connection between the individual and the state while taking into account the reality of pluralism and diversity of worldviews that frames the social life of the individual. In the face of this reality, one cannot maintain the position of indifference towards the state and assert that as “long as the vast terrain of social relationships and communities existing alongside the individual… the state is not taken into account” (Chaplin, 1994, p. 81). ...
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