Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Philosophy and Public Affairs

Reader 1

Alex Rajczi

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© 2017 Alexandra M. Miele


John Rawls was a political philosopher who proposed a theory centered around the idea of justice as fairness. His primary concern was social justice, so more specifically, he proposed a basic structure for society that ensures major social institutions like the government fairly distribute fundamental rights and duties and optimally divide advantages brought about by social cooperation. His theory is based on the idea that the correct principles to use for the basic structure of society are those that free and rational people would agree to in attempt to advance their own self-interest from a fair and equal starting position. Rawls proposes three principles that he believes people would agree to in this situation and describes what a society based on these principles would look like. Throughout this paper, I will attempt to explain Rawls’s “Theory of Justice” and defend various aspect of the theory against common objections.