A Theory of Justice.

  • A Theory of Justice. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1971. Revised (TJ) edition 1999.
  • Oikeudenmukaisuusteoria. Suomentanut Terho Pursiainen. WSOY, Porvoo, Helsinki, Juva 1988

“What I have attempted to do is to generalize and carry to a higher order of abstraction the traditional theory of the social contract as represented by Locke, Rousseau, and Kant.”

Part One. Theory

CHAPTER I. JUSTICE AS FAIRNESS (Oikeudenmukaisuus reiluutena)

1. The Role of Justice

“Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust.”

2. The Subject of Justice
3. The Main Idea of the Theory of Justice
4. The Original Position and Justification
5. Classical Utilitarianism
6. Some Related Contrasts
7. Intuitionism
8. The Priority Problem
9. Some Remarks about Moral Theory

CHAPTER II. THE PRINCIPLES OF JUSTICE (Oikeudenmukaisuusperiaateet)

10. Institutions and Formal Justice

11. Two Principles of Justice

“First: each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive scheme of equal basic liberties compatible with a similar scheme of liberties for others.”

1) Jokaisella henkilöllä on oltava yhtäläinen oikeus laajimpaan mahdolliseen yhtäläisten perusvapauksien järjestelmään, joka on yhteensopiva toisten samanlaiseen vapauden järjestelmään.

“Second: social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both (a) reasonably expected to be to everyone’s advantage, and (b) attached to positions and offices open to all.”

2) Yhteiskunnalliset ja taloudelliset eriarvoisuudet on järjestettävä siten, että niiden voidaan järkevästi olettaa olevan jokaiselle hyödyksi, ja b) liittyvät kaikille avoimiin asemiin ja virkoihin.

12. Interpretations of the Second Principle
13. Democratic Equality and the Difference Principle
14. Fair Equality of Opportunity and Pure Procedural Justice
15. Primary Social Goods as the Basis of Expectations
16. Relevant Social Positions
17. The Tendency to Equality

18. Principles for Individuals: The Principle of Fairness
19. Principles for Individuals: The Natural Duties


20. The Nature of the Argument for Conceptions of Justice
21. The Presentation of Alternatives
22. The Circumstances of Justice
23. The Formal Constraints of the Concept of Right
24. The Veil of Ignorance
25. The Rationality of the Parties
26. The Reasoning Leading to the Two Principles of Justice
27. The Reasoning Leading to the Principle of Average Utility
28. Some Difficulties with the Average Principle
29. Some Main Grounds for the Two Principles of Justice
30. Classical Utilitarianism, Impartiality, and Benevolence

Part Two. Institutions


31. The Four-Stage Sequence

32. The Concept of Liberty

“The general description of a liberty, then, has the following form: this or that person (or persons) is free (or not free) from this or that constraint (or set of constraints) to do (or not to do) so and so.”

Yleisellä vapauden kuvauksella on siten seuraava muoto: Tämä tai tuo henkilö (tai henkilöt) on vapaa (tai ei vapaa) tästä tai tuosta rajoitteesta (tai rajoitteiden joukosta) tekemään (tai olemaan tekemättä) sitä ja tätä.

33. Equal Liberty of Conscience

34. Toleration and the Common Interest

35. Toleration of the Intolerant

36. Political Justice and the Constitution

37. Limitations on the Principle of Participation

38. The Rule of Law

39. The Priority of Liberty Defined

40. The Kantian Interpretation of Justice as Fairness


41. The Concept of Justice in Political Economy
42. Some Remarks about Economic Systems
43. Background Institutions for Distributive Justice
44. The Problem of Justice between Generations
45. Time Preference
46. Further Cases of Priority
47. The Precepts of Justice
48. Legitimate Expectations and Moral Desert
49. Comparison with Mixed Conceptions
50. The Principle of Perfection


51. The Arguments for the Principles of Natural Duty
52. The Arguments for the Principle of Fairness
53. The Duty to Comply with an Unjust Law
54. The Status of Majority Rule
55. The Definition of Civil Disobedience
56. The Definition of Conscientious Refusal
57. The Justification of Civil Disobedience
58. The Justification of Conscientious Refusal
59. The Role of Civil Disobedience

Part Three. Ends


60. The Need for a Theory of the Good
61. The Definition of Good for Simpler Cases
62. A Note on Meaning
63. The Definition of Good for Plans of Life
64. Deliberative Rationality
65. The Aristotelian Principle
66. The Definition of Good Applied to Persons
67. Self-Respect, Excellences, and Shame
68. Several Contrasts between the Right and the Good


69. The Concept of a Well-Ordered Society
70. The Morality of Authority
71. The Morality of Association
72. The Morality of Principles
73. Features of the Moral Sentiments
74. The Connection between Moral and Natural Attitudes
75. The Principles of Moral Psychology
76. The Problem of Relative Stability
77. The Basis of Equality


78. Autonomy and Objectivity
79. The Idea of Social Union
80. The Problem of Envy
81. Envy and Equality

82. The Grounds for the Priority of Liberty
83. Happiness and Dominant Ends
84. Hedonism as a Method of Choice
85. The Unity of the Self
86. The Good of the Sense of Justice
87. Concluding Remarks on Justification