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Section 3 notes - POLSC 141 Human Situation Notes 4/18 End...

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POLSC 141 Human Situation Notes 4/18 – End of Semester 4/18 – John Rawls - How do we negotiate the individual’s relationship with the state? o Tocqueville: Free association Balances our tendencies of equality and freedom. o Nietzsche: Authenticity from individualism. o Mill: Do no harm rule Autonomy. - What features need to be considered in identifying good communities? o Locke: State of Nature (SON) leads to civil societies. Stage 1: Agree to form civil society. Stage 2: Settle on features of civil society. o Rawls tells us how to get the “agreement” to work. Rules to follow that should be just and fair. - For a society to be just, we need… o Equality in assignment of basic rights and duties. o Inequalities are ok, only if they better everyone. The Original Position ” – (SON for Rawls) - We are rational & self-interested (features that matter) allows us to say. - We have interests , skills & abilities but where will we end (social status). o *Sometimes the less we know the easier the decision is. 4/20 – John Rawls - What is the Original Position (Agreement) ? o It creates principles and justice. - Why do we need principles? o Assign basic rights and duties and distribute social benefits. - ‘Blanket of Ignorance’ – are you ignorant of everything. o The reason why we have the Original Agreement. o All contingent facts removed of everything. Descartes – break it down to the simplest common things. o We are rational and mutually dis-interested (self-interested). Imagine others as you in every situation. “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” o ‘Utility Theories’ Disagrees with Rawls. It is the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Blanket of Ignorance fails because you do not want to be in a harmful situation. - Principles (2) o Equality for basic rights & duties. o Inequalities are just, so long as they do no harm (maximum) and raise standards of living for all.
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Ok to have property, but excess property should be given for the benefit of social society. - Trolley Problem o Train on tracks…if you let the train go, it will kill 1 person. If you throw the switch to change tracks it will kill 5 people. What do you do? - Church & State o There needs to be a separation because you don’t want to be imposed on by others. - Private Property o You better use what you have to benefit everyone else if you have more than others. - Civil Equality o Supports equality – “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” - Contribute to civic health o Overall welfare of the society is most important. 4/22 – Michael Sandel - No such thing as state neutrality. - Purpose of gov’t is to protect your rights to pursue what you want in private. - Rawls Liberalism : state should be neutral on what it means to live a good life.
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