Primary Goods in John Rawls' "A Theory of Justice" John Rawls (1971), in his book A Theory of Justice, put forth the idea that primary goods are to be distributed equally and that the idea of justice must account for those who are disadvantaged. However, since the publication of his 1971 work, there has been much criticism of Rawls’ ideas. For example, Amartya Sen has famously taken issue with some of Rawls’ ideas, arguing that the ability to effectively utilize primary goods is as important as distribution of these goods. An examination of Sen’s critique of Rawls, along with a consideration of capability theory, will help citizens of the world define happiness, wealth, and justice in a personal way. A Brief Overview of Rawls’ Primary...The end:
.....way. Perhaps the most significant benefit of such an analysis is that it forces readers to examine personal priorities. For example, can happiness be attained by receiving that expensive Christmas gift? Or, can a more true, deeper happiness be gained by passing that gift on to someone less fortunate? American society, in particular, is very concerned with the possession of materials goods and wealth. Reading Rawls and Sen gives one an alternative view of happiness, and from these readings, one can see a way to a happiness which is deeper and richer, and ultimately, benefits people other than the self. References Rawls, J. (1971). A Theory of Justice. Boston: Harvard University Press. Sen , A. (2009). The Idea of Justice. London: Allen Lane.