Problems of Extension in Justice as Fairness

  • Author / Creator
    Pitcher, David
  • In John Rawls's liberal theory called “Justice as Fairness,” citizens are conceived as reasonable and rational, and this conception of citizenship forms the basis for constructing principles of justice. Rawls notes that it is unclear how his theory of justice is to apply to entities other than citizens, and calls these cases “problems of extension.” In this thesis, I discuss the way in which problems of extension arise in Rawls's work, and argue that there are underlying Kantian assumptions that lead Rawls to regard the conception of personhood as both necessary and sufficient conditions for being owed duties of justice. I argue that, on a constructivist interpretation of Rawls's theory, these assumptions are superfluous and threaten the political aspect of Justice as Fairness. I explore a revised version of Justice as Fairness wherein duties to non-citizens are acknowledged, and conclude that the problems of extension can be solved.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2011
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Burch, Robert (Philosophy)
    • Welchman, Jennifer (Philosophy)
    • Hunter, Bruce (Philosophy)
    • Carmichael, Don (Political Science)