Jae-Wan Chung

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. John Dilworth

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Pritchard

Third Advisor

Dr. Joseph Ellin

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


In discussing John Rawls' theory of justice , my main concern is to examine his theory, especially in difference principle, and to criticize the principle. The difference principle is that without improving the conditions of those who are worst off, the advantages of all those better off should not be permitted. The principle has some problems.

First, the principle is against our common judgment. There is no reason that we choose the principle under "original position," and the principle brings about a result to disregard others' important advantages for the least favored's profits. Secondly, according to Robert Nozick's entitlement theory, since individuals use and dispose their means according to their will, the difference principle infringes on individuals' property right. Third, according to Marxism, the principle does not try fundamentally to resolve the inequalities, and minimizing inequalities by permitting inequalities is contradictory because the inequalities are due to the exploitation of the ruling class.

In conclusion, after summarizing Rawls' theory and criticizing Nozick's and Rawls' theory, I offer Marxism as a proposal to resolve social inequalities because Marxism is based on our history not on a hypothetical situation and requires the fundamental solution of inequalities.

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