Ideal Theory In Justice As Fairness By John Rawls

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John Rawls, within his novel “Justice as Fairness”, presents the concept of ideal theory, one that will come to be contested by many scholars throughout history. Ideal theory is the ultimate state of what a society should strive for. These principles are formulated using an idealized reasoner, someone who can step back and ratify the injustices of society. Charles Mills, a twentieth-century philosopher, criticizes the claims Rawls makes under the rubric of ideal theory. Charles Mills contends that ideal theory “is really an ideology, a distortional complex of ideas, values, norms, and beliefs that reflect the nonrepresentative interests and experiences of a small minority of the national population–middle-to-upper-class white
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In regards to the objection that Mills makes of the ideal human being an abstraction, Rawls responds by agreeing that that Mills is most likely correct in stating that the idealized human is an abstraction of himself. This isn’t a problem however, unless it is really true that it is impossible to get a real idealized human. We have to be able in this sense to describe humans. It may be true that no actual reasoner can ever generate a description of the ideal reasoner, but the question is whether or not it is useful to aspire to this model. 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. In aspiring for something to be universal, this creates a space where one can minimize the area in which it is

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