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Philosophy in the Contemporary World

Volume 1, Issue 3, Fall 1994

Lara M. Trout
Pages 39-45
DOI: 10.5840/pcw19941320

Can Justice as Fairness Accommodate Diversity?
An Examination of the Representation of Minorities and Women in A Theory of Justice

The purpose of this paper is to expose a problem of application in John Rawls’ theory of justice. An examination of his treatment of the application of his principles in A Theory of Justice reveals an insensitivity toward the proper representation of minorities and women. This problem, which is rooted in Rawls’ conception of the relevant social position is not properly addressed by him, yet is grounded in inconsistencies which undermine the just practical implementation of his theory. A provisional solution to this problem is to provide the original position with historical information, as well as to place within its jurisdiction the application of the two principles of justice.