A Subjective Examination of Theories of Justice
Following observations by John Rawls, in his "Dewey Lectures," this study attempts to illuminate the "common sense" convictions which are presumed central to a workable theory of justice. Utilizing Q methodology, the study identifies four factors depicting how people think about justice, and three factors representing how people think about justice when operating from a position behind the Rawlsian veil of ignorance. Overall, participants indicated respect for an open and equally accessible political process, and demonstrated a belief in the need for constitutional guarantee of basic civil and political rights. Nonetheless, the evidence does not support the notion that our political culture is prepared for a Rawlsian conception of justice.