Rawls 11-04,11-13[1]

Rawls 11-04,11-13[1] - Tuesday November 4 2003 Thursday Core Course MR 22 Justice Katharina Held Rawls A Theory of Justice I Justice as fairness

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Tuesday, November 4, 2003 Core Course MR 22 Justice Thursday, November 13, 2003 Katharina Held Rawls, A Theory of Justice I Justice as fairness - Rawls‘ approach: describing the role of justice in the social cooperation presenting of the idea of justice as fairness Justice as fairness generalizes and carries to a higher level the traditional conception of social contract (theories) - Definition of society: a cooperative venture for mutual advantage, which is marked by conflict as well as an identity of interests confict and identity of interests require a set of principles for choosing among various social arrangements, which determine the division of advantages principles of justice are a way of assigning rights and duties in the basic institutions of a society (basic structure) - Main idea of a theory of justice: men have to decide in advance how to regulate their claims against one another and what is to be the foundation charter of their society hypothetical position of equal liberty = original position (see Locke‘s state of nature) additionally, no one knows his place in society, his calss, his postion, social status, nor his fortune in the distribution of natural assets and abilities, hins intelligence, strength and so forth = veil of ignorance original position and veil of ignornace try to ensure that in the process of choosing basic principles of justice no one is advantaged or disadvantaged by the outcome of natural chance or the contingency of social circumstances „since all are similar situated and no one is able to design principles to favor his particular condition, the principles of justice are the result of a fair agreement or bargain“ (I.3, p.11) fundamental agreement reached in the original position is fair (=justice as fairness) justice as fairness consists of two parts (1) an interpretation of the initial situation (2) a set of principles which would be agreed to - Persons in the original position, behind the veil of ignorance would choose two different principles (1) equality in the assignment of basic rights and duties (2) social and economic inequalities are just only if they result in compensating benefits for everyone and in particular for the least advantaged members of society
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Question: How can we actually deal with the hypothetical of the original position? How can it be justified? (1) „At any time we can enter the original position, so to speak, simply by following a certain procedure, namely, by argueing for principles of justtice in accordance with these restrictions (I.4, p.17) (2) reflective equilibrium = process of mutual adjustment of principles and considered judgements (seeing if the principles which would be chosen match our considered concivtions of justice and /or extending them in an acceptable way comparing initial situation, principles derived and existing situation) (I.4., p.18) - Justice as fairness as an alternative to utilitarian thoughts Rejection of Utilitarianism on several grounds:
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course MORAL REAS 22 taught by Professor Sandel during the Fall '05 term at Harvard.

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Rawls 11-04,11-13[1] - Tuesday November 4 2003 Thursday Core Course MR 22 Justice Katharina Held Rawls A Theory of Justice I Justice as fairness

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