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Introduction In order to critique Rawls arguments for the Difference Principle DP we must first begin by clarifying the building blocks of his theory of justice Firstly Rawls proposes the notion of an original position which places one behind the veil of ignorance Behind this veil one is not privy to the knowledge of ones sex race physical condition family background etc The only knowledge one possesses is that of the different situations humans may be placed in and the general facts about human psychology and nature Rawls argues that self-interested rational individuals would ultimately choose two principles of justice to structure society in reality The first principle of justice is that of equal liberty ie Each person has an equal right to the most extensive liberties compatible with a similar liberties for all The second principle states that social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both a to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged and b attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity From this principle Rawls is essentially egalitarian in asserting that all inequalities as unjust except insofar as it is an essential means to improving the position of the worst-off in society However Rawls is also departing from strict egalitarianism by claiming that justices does not necessarily require equality - inequalities may exist justified as incentives eg if distributing more power income etc to certain people ensues in a higher living standards for all in the community benefiting also the least advantaged justice is achieved This is Rawls belief in the trickle-down effect as a justification of inequality that as long as the least advantaged are made better off a grossly unequal increment of wealth to even just one person can be justified Essentially the DP is a theory of justice constructed with a structure that looks out for the least advantaged of society Merits of
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