Analysis Of John Rawls 'Justice As Fairness: A Restatement'

Amazing Essays
John Rawls in his book Justice as Fairness: A Restatement (2001) characterizes how idealized reasoners, reason in order to validate the two “principles of justice” (42) in a “basic structure” (10) leading to a “well-ordered society” (8). The idealized reasoners do some kind of calculation. With the “original position” (14) and the “veil of ignorance” (15) idealized reasoners can understand the “difference principle” (61). This is an important element of creating a well-ordered society. Mills finds issue with how Rawls uses this ideal as something we should follow. The issue is with something that we have to comply with. The ideal comes into play with Rawls in regards the person who does the calculations with the original position. In this paper, …show more content…
Mills argues that the ideal reasoner does not capture how actual reasoners go through the veil of ignorance. An actual reasoner, a real human being, going through the veil of ignorance will without a doubt have their identity shaped by facets such as race, sex, and gender. Consequently, I do not know what it is like to be a woman living in a Saudi Arabia. I can imagine what it would be like in my cozy free canadian city. But, I cannot know how women there experience the world and how they view the world. Much like that an actual reasoner can never be the idealized neural reasoner who would know everything. Because no actual reasoner would be know everything about people and their subjective experiences before they go through the veil of ignorance. The actual reasoner would have their life experiences shape their decision making. However, just because we cannot account for the cultural inflections does not mean having an ideal is useless. The idealized reasoner could possibly have desired traits. But, in regards to how Rawls’ uses the idealized reasoner in his theory, Mills would suggest that this is an issue for …show more content…
Rawls believes this is the case for two reasons. One one hand, the calculation results in something everyone in the society should be able to accept. On the other hand, the output also gives us foundation of where we should begin to accept things. A Rawlsian would suggest that we would not be able to get this without an idealized reasoner. The idealized reasoner is someone who has all the traits that Rawls thinks is important for a reasoner would have. And after going through the veil of ignorance the reasoner would create prescriptions of what people would do. Mills’ argument against this may not be warranted because I do not know if the idealized reasoner can account for the subjective differences actual reasoners would have when coming out of the veil of ignorance. However, under the veil I can assume that people with even with subjective differences will calculate the best possible prescription for all people. Even if there are people who are disadvantaged at the end, a actual reasoner who may even be the most disadvantaged would reason such that even they would

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Rawls believes that this model is necessary and it is a useful decide for the purposes we are engaged in. The function of the ideal reasoner is to generate standards and reasons that everyone will legitimately accept, even if one doesn’t necessarily like it. One cannot produce this without some kind of idealized reasoner that serves as a reference point that people can turn to in order to accept the conditions of society. This ideal reasoner will differ depending on who you are. Aspiring to the universal that people can step out of the presumed notions means that in doing so, it is necessary to hide some aspects which you know to be true.…

    • 1436 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Existentialists deny the existence of objective or absolute truth. Truth and right and wrong are determined by the individual, whose view of truth may be distorted. Although May advocates for new myths that give new meaning and possibility to our existence, how can we have meaning when we hold that ‘nothing has meaning’, ‘nothing has value’ and ‘nothing matters’ since our end goal is to just exist. The theory does not give humanity a sense of hope, since nothing matters as long as one lives life with a passion and has the capacity to choose, love and create. Explain how this information impact how you view clients?…

    • 467 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Where are we leaving our individual reason and critical thinking to improve ourselves? And the ability to criticize society norms and provoke changes for the good. Glensler also states that not because a norm is product of the culture, it is necessarily subjective. He also says that disagreement does not imply the absence of universal ethical norms. Finally, being tolerant regarding cultural differences does not mean that you are a cultural relativism.…

    • 1318 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This prevents one from actually witnessing the effects of different societal factors, and thus keeps one uninformed about the injustices that happen to women on a individualized scale. Ignoring the individualized plight of each woman takes away from the movement because we fail to pinpoint the exact reasons why the system is…

    • 772 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Hare And Maxion Analysis

    • 1921 Words
    • 8 Pages

    M could not do this thing in conversation with another person.” Murdoch means M’s morality of self-introspection is the activity that comes from her own personality and experience rather than any universalized reason. In fact, not everyone thinks it is necessary to do self-introspection like M. Even if everyone believes it is necessary to do the self-introspection, everyone does the self-introspection in different ways and not everyone would do the self-introspection like M. Therefore, M 's valuation is not the universalizability. Hare believes the valuations with no general reason is not understandable because they are nonsense but M 's self-introspection is the moral valuation comes from the individual personality, which exists and stands in the real world. Therefore, except U-type moral valuation, the moral valuation that comes from the personal reason is existing. Hare uses the example of K and E to claim that the valuation with non-general reason is…

    • 1921 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    (Sinnot Armstrong Section 4) A problem that arises by utilizing a modest contrast class is that an individual can be justified in a belief but lack the qualification. If the contrast class is limited to the choice A and alternatives B, C, and D, an action can be justified if A proves B, C, and D morally wrong. The reason people can be unqualified when utilizing a modest contrast class is that a new option could be presented, choice E. Choice E is not considered so choice A cannot be justified unless A refutes E. (Copp 812) For day to day decisions the use of a modest contrast class is acceptable and generally used because certain extremes are typically refuted. Unknown or unconceived alternatives can be added to a contrast class through newly presented evidence. Evidence is crucial to moral skepticism because it determines how we justify our thoughts so whenever possible one should always strive to understand all aspects of a situation.…

    • 1131 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    One, instead, should be able to criticize the beliefs of others. James is correct in claiming that one should use their will when forming certain beliefs; but contrary to what he thinks, this process does not lead to the maximization of true beliefs. Preconceptions heavily influence what one wills to believe. If these preconceptions are tainted by false knowledge, formation of new true beliefs becomes difficult. James’ theory would be effective at creating many new beliefs but his process does not emphasize the creation of true beliefs, as he desires.…

    • 1421 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Debunking Ethical Realism

    • 712 Words
    • 3 Pages

    FitzPatrick argues that such forces do not stand in the way of our grasping moral facts, and in doing so sketches his own view of realism. Foremost in his view is that we are capable of grasping moral truths. It is this grasp that debunking arguments contend is impossible, whether because our mental capacities and moral beliefs are distorted by evolution or by something else. But FitzPatrick says that evolution does not necessarily distort our capacity to grasp moral reality. It is reasonable, he says, to assume that we evolved mechanisms (such as cooperation) that both allow us to live longer and allow us to form a correct understanding of morality (17-18).…

    • 712 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    She later offers a critique of her definition being too weak because it does not guarantee the repetition of the virtuous act by a non-virtuous agent. It could also be too weak because it lacks sufficient requirements for the motivational aspect of the agent. There are situations where the definition could be too strong, given the agents motivation could be based on something other than the virtue. Zagzebski’s response is that the motivation does not affect the truth. These differences are based upon the…

    • 1068 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Theories Of Altruism

    • 1271 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Normative meaning establishing a standard, especially concerning behavior. Egoism is not the standard, but it does offer a theory of how people should behave. An egoist would state that something is good when he possesses it, but that would imply that goodness would be circumstantial, not universal. Egoism is qualified with phrases such as ethical or psychological. According to Machan, “the human self or ego consists of a bundle of desires (or drives or wishes or preferences) and to benefit oneself amounts to satisfying these desires in their order of priority, which is itself something entirely dependent upon the individual or, as it is often put, a subjective matter” (Machan 18) implying that it is understood that each individual desire is subjective to the person, but states that satisfying these desires benefits the person.…

    • 1271 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays