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

1874 Words 8 Pages
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

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