Original position

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    1) In examining Rawl’s theory of justice, and the supposed “original-position” which Rawls takes to be the starting point for its conception, the question becomes: “who” amongst all the diversity of human beings in the world exists in that position? Who, in other words, is ever truly at the place to begin a discourse on justice, as applies to all human beings? And in considering the contrary view of Mills to that original position—who gets left out? Who is denied access to the talking circles which enframe a notion of social justice ‘for all’? This brings to light the notion of ‘equality’ in the establishment of a social contract, of which Mills is especially suspicious, and Rawls takes for granted. If we are to ask how Mills would make sense of the abstract, theoretical ‘equality’ which Rawls espouses, we could perhaps have to first examine the ‘original position’ of the supposed equality that Rawls describes: “…the original position is the appropriate initial status quo which insures that the fundamental agreements reached in it are fair…

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    Now that the objection of self-interest has been refuted, the emphasis needs to shift towards an explanation of Rawls second principle of justice. The second principle, commonly referred to as the “Difference Principle,” indicates that, “[S]ocial and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both (a) reasonably expected to be to everyone’s advantage, and (b) attached to positions and offices open to all.” Rawls specifies that the “Liberty Principle” is “lexicographical”. This…

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    Wait, doesn’t this sound familiar? Furthermore, the second principle is more related to equality. “Social and economic inequalities are to be attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity; and second, they are to be to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged members of society (the difference principle)” (John Rawls; Justice as Fairness, page 42 (online text)). This principle suggests that all human beings are entitled to the same…

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    there is a hypothetical original scenario in which all rational parties would agree to a set of conditions and terms that would form a just society, this is referred to as the argument from ‘the original position’ and is an integral…

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    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…

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    Rawls' focuses on highlighting the importance behind the formation of a society from an "original position" where each individual though thoroughly informed about the facts of the world, is oblivious about himself in terms of his social status, class position, wealth, health, natural talents, opportunities, characteristics etc. The idea behind Rawls' theory is for the individuals within a society to think beyond their own self concerns, and consider the well-being of the society as a whole.…

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    distribute these advantages among ourselves. Our social structure contains various social positions and it is not a secret that men and women who are born in these different positions have different expectations from life. In turn, various social institutions favor certain people over the others, which results in inequality. This favorability of one men over the other can deeply affect a man’s initial chance in life and from my point of view, cannot justify the notion of desert. According to…

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    Principles of Justice vs. Utlitarianism Justice is a social concept that is used as an assessment tool in various social institutions such as government, courts, economic systems and education. John Rawls proposed two principles of justice that will help govern in the creation of social and political practices that are fair to all (p. 52): • Rawls’ first principle of justice states that “each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive scheme of equal basic liberties compatible with…

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    are physically and/or socioeconomically disadvantaged in a detrimental position because all the wealth would accumulate in the upper half of the society. To counteract natural phenomenon of varying advantages, Rawls presents compensatory principles that buffers the injustice that can occur. There are two overarching principles of justice that are to be chosen by a free society. The first principle is that “each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive scheme of equal basic…

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    Furthermore, Rawls describes his project as “intuitionist,” as intuitively balancing equality and distribution. Synthesized, I think the kind of objective distance Rawls requires from his arbiters in the original position is what could ultimate help to cultivate empathy and foster connection in social and political engagement. And empathic connection is the first movement toward human flourishing I propose as a method for social engagement, which I shall elaborate later in this…

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