Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Christopher A. Freiman

Committee Members

M. Victoria Costa

Julie R. Agnew


In Political Liberalism , John Rawls did not try to fix public reason on a single political conception of justice. I disagree. This project shows that adopting a political liberal framework yields a political conception of justice with three principles of justice: equal basic rights and liberties, fair equality of opportunity and the bounded efficiency principle. The resulting theory is largely similar to justice as fairness, yet it differs in four key ways. First, equal basic rights and liberties is expanded to include a more robust set of positive political liberties. Second, fair equality of opportunity is not strictly political; rather, it can pierce the veil of nonpublic life if this aspect of life significantly impacts the basic structure of society. Third, the difference principle is rejected by a politically liberal framework, replace by the bounded efficiency principle. Last, the principles of justice are not lexicographically ordered. Instead, situations in which one principle conflicts with another are adjudicated by an appeal to general intuitionism.

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