They are the cornerstones of any foundational conception of justicebut there are also reasonable ways of interpreting them that can put them at odds
In A Theory Of Justice, John Rawls advances two fundamental principles as being constitutive of any reasonable interpretation of justice as fairness. Rawls’ first principle of justice demands that each person is to have an equal right to the most widespread liberty compatible with a like liberty for all. The second principle—the celebrated Difference Principle—emphasizes the primacy of maximizing the advantage (in terms of an index of primary goods) of the worst-off person: specifically, “social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both (a) to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged and (b) attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity". In this perspective then, equality and liberty are the cornerstones of any foundational conception of justice, or more generally, of any inclusive view of political morality.
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