Begin by considering the intimidating range of questions about what justice requires and permits, to which alternative and incompatible answers are offered by contending individuals and groups within contemporary societies. Does justice permit gross inequality of income and ownership? Does justice require compensatory action to remedy inequalities which are the result of past injustice, even if those who pay the costs of such compensation had no part in that injustice? Does justice permit or require the imposition of the death penalty and, if so, for what offenses? Is it just to permit legalized abortion? When is it just to go to war? The list of such questions is a long one.