Nozick uses entitlement theory to analyze distributive justice. His argument is based on three major factors which include the flowing: firstly, justice in the process of acquisition where one has the right to own something that was not previously owned. Secondly, the process of justice in transfer of property rights in case something has been transferred by someone else to you. Finally, entitlement theory involves the process of rectification of justice that involves restoring something to the rightful owner. This is done in the case when injustice means were used in acquisition.
In this case, he establishes entitlement theory which focuses on the historical and un-patterned concepts. The theory does not demand the form of distribution which results from acquisitions, methods of transfers as well as rectifications that are to be patterned. Moreover, the theory is correlated with something that pertains to the end result such as moral merits, needs of the public as well as its usefulness to the society. It further stipulates that people are entitled to specific rights of ownership that are acquired by chance or as gifts. This implies that any form of distribution that does not take into account the pattern that is available or not available, must be provided by the respective society. Moreover, the pattern should not be provided by rules of acquisition, transfer or rectification. This implies that the form of distribution should not be in accordance with the established rules.
On the other hand, Rawl’s theory of distributive justice is based on the virtue that the societs coexists for mutual benefit between different members of the society. Although individuals posses different interests, they definitely posses a sense of identity as well as shared interests. In his theory, he focuses on the principles of justice which define the process of appropriation and distribution of various benefits and burdens as a concept of social cooperation. He maintains that justice is one of the most important values in political and basic institutions in the society. This mainly entails institutions that are entitled in regulation of market, family, freedom as well as properties in the society.
In his theory, Rawls states that the representative of the people should not be left worse off by the appropriation of the property. However, Nozick criticizes this argument stating that properties should be left to individuals to make their own decisions. Unfortunately, he does not provide a basis for this argument. He maintains that the concept of appropriation will be violated if an individual appropriates everything that is essential to the society at that particular moment. Similarly, it should ensure that the poor are not exploited as well as avoid denying them their basic needs in life. Moreover, one should not be the sole owner. He recommends that one should combine with others and ensure the supply of basic properties. Nozick stipulates that there is a possibility of losing entitlement to something. This may occur in case where you lose something that was initially yours. This can be as a result of developments. For example, drying up of other waterholes where one remains the sole owner forcing him to share with others.
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On the contrary, Rawls takes a different approach to that taken by Nozick. His theory focuses on the end result. He states that the method of choosing principles should be based on a veil of ignorance. This implies that it should be based on calculations that focus on what people end up with. Normally, the amount of property that people end up with is determined by the set of principles. He argues that people do not have any way of choosing what to own as individuals. It is usually determined by the society. Therefore, his theory differs from Nozick’s entitlement theory that emphasizes rules of justice and their development favoring individuals.
Rawls develops a specification situation and process that marks the beginning of deliberation in justice. He further argues that the rules that results from this deliberations normally form the rules of justice. This is a major similarity as Nozick comes up with a similar argument. He states that a specific process must be developed in his entitlement theory. He maintains that whatever form of distribution which results is just. Moreover, each of the two theories specifies the starting point and the overall process that entails transformation. Each distributive result is accepted by the two theories. Thus, the outcome is just and acceptable in both theories. It is worth to note that Rawls’s process of generating principles cannot in itself establish the resulting process principles, as it only comes up with the end-result principles. On the contrary, Nozick depicts this as an irony. He argues that this presents a dilemma simply because the process cannot in any case lead to process principles of justice. This cannot occur without holding other related processes.
According to Nozick, there are three sets of justice that define it. These include: how things that are not in case possessed by anyone can be acquired, the process of transferring possessions from one person to another as well as procedures that should be used to rectify injustices that normally arise from violations of possessions by individuals. In addition, Nozick interprets the rights of individuals which include the following; the right of ownership and appropriation of anything that is not owned provided that one leaves enough for other people. This implies that one should consider other people while appropriating anything. Thus, others should not be left worse off.
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