- Количество слайдов: 19
Rawls II: Another version of the social contract PHIL 2345
Some notions of justice—social and otherwise--in other authors o Hobbes: n n o Locke: n n n o Right of Nature—your inalienable right to defend your life; Sovereign guarantees peace, order, at whatever price. Individual rights to property, life are preserved in PS; law is indifferent, known to all; Men have agreed to an unequal distribution of goods (par. 50). Rousseau: n n n sovereign should only take what it needs, not burden one member of the pact more than another. Freedom requires a degree of equality.
Key points from last lecture o Rejects utilitarianism (14): n n o o Invokes social contract as good framework (16) Posits an intuition of justice n o o greatest good of greatest number; Is Rawls anti-modern in this respect? This is a bit mysterious—whence would we obtain this ‘intuition’? Posits good of each individual as important Posits social cooperation
Social justice: Standard for assessing the distributive aspects of the basic structure of society (9).
Social Pact o o o ‘one joint act’ (11) Principles assigning basic rts and duties Division of social benefits Regulation of claims against each other Foundation charter What is rational for each to pursue, and for all to consider just/unjust
Assumptions re: ‘original position’ o o o Resource scarcity; there is not enough to go around, or at least enough so that everyone is satisfied Assumes moral conditions of agreement: n n n Universality Publicly known: ‘public nature of political principles’ (16) Finality
Rejection of ‘utility’ o o o ‘no one has a reason to acquiesce in an enduring loss for himself in order to bring about a greater net balance of satisfaction’; ‘Thus it seems the principle of utility is incompatible with the conception of social cooperation among equals for mutual advantage. ’ ‘…inconsistent with the idea of reciprocity implicit in…a well-ordered society’ (14).
When is any inequality justified? o o o Rts and duties = assigned equally (14) E. g. each may vote; each must pay taxes (if any are owed) Wealth and authority: may be unequal ‘if they result in compensating benefits for everyone’ ‘and in particular for the least advantaged members of society’ (emph. added); ‘It may be expedient but not just that some should have less in order that others may prosper’ (15).
Cf. Rousseau on inequality o “…it is manifestly against the Law of Nature, however defined, that. . . a handful of people abound in superfluities while the starving multitude lacks necessities” (II. 58).
Is there a So. N in Rawls’s theory of justice? (12)
Original Position 16 ff. ) o o o Freely contracting, equal individuals (same as other contract theories) Procedurally equal; the assembly of all (19) Abstract from their own and others’ n n n o o o Circumstances (e. g. class, social role), desires, conception of the good Posits ‘Veil of ignorance’ Agents’ rationality Agents’ freedom from envy (cf. Rousseau, Hobbes)
Why the ‘veil of ignorance’? o o To ensure that choice of principles Dis/advantages no one on basis of n n o o o Natural chance (Rousseau: natural inequality) Social circumstances (R: social inequality) Relations are symmetrical No one in a position to choose on basis of his/her interests (although s/he may have them). Initial conditions of decision to be ‘fair’ (12).
Comparisons Hobbes: o Do the initial conditions of decision have to be ‘fair’? o What about the role of duress? o Is social justice one of H’s goals? o o Locke: Do individuals abstracting from their circumstances when they make the pact? What about property? Unequal possession of the earth (par. 50)?
Is Rawls closer to Rousseau? SC, Bk II, ch. 11, pars. 1 -3 Equality as a condition for freedom: no man so rich he can buy another, none so poor he must sell himself.
Reflective equilibrium (20) o o Principles and judgments should coincide: Hence, ‘reflective equilibrium’ ‘going back and forth’ n n n ‘altering the conditions of the contractual circumstances’ ‘withdrawing our judgments and conforming them to principle’.
Comments? Are you satisfied with this account of the contracting process?
Fixed points for any conception of justice o o o Religious intolerance Racism Homophobia? Less confidence re: distribution of wealth and authority? Why? n n Time-honored view: we deserve what we have; we have earned it vs. the undeserving poor, the ‘quarrelsome and contentious’—Locke)
Intro to Question o o Rawls's two principles of justice are derived from a more general conception of justice, i. e. , all social values should be distributed equally unless the unequal distribution is beneficial to everyone. Among all social values, Rawls distinguishes between basic liberties on one hand, and all other values like wealth and income on the other hand. Rawls then defines his two principles in such a way that the first principle--which protects an equal distribution of basic liberties-should always be satisfied before the second principle which ensures any unequal distribution be beneficial to all-- is satisfied. In other words, basic liberties of citizen are always equally distributed, and any unequal distribution of basic liberties is not granted even if it is beneficial to all citizens. I In Rawls's view, basic liberties – e. g. , political liberty, freedom of speech, freedom of thought, right to hold property etc - are given an "absolute weight" with respect to all other social values.
Question o o o Rawls believes it is reasonable for us not to exchange our liberties for any social and economic advantages whatsoever. My question is, why should we give liberties such an "absolute weight"? Is it due to our intuition? Indeed, protection of these liberties conforms to our intuition, but how can we ensure that our intuition is correct?