John Rawls -- Justice – “justice is fairness”

John Rawls -- Justice is fairness. Main ideas.

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John Rawls -- Justice – “justice is fairness” by Mind Map: John Rawls -- Justice – “justice is fairness”

1. YaleCourses, Rawlsian Veil of Ignorance

1.1. "The ORIGINAL POSITION"; a person does not know: -His place in society -His class position/social status -His fortune in natural abilities such as strength or intelligence

1.1.1. People would naturally agree to a more equalatarian society; a "maximin" strategy. Distribution of goods only if they benefit the least well-off members of society. Supposes that people have the same inherent values and sense of right/wrong. Critic: push the example to the extreme... Following choice... Rawls's view on the distribution is broken here, because most would argue that (B) would be more popular. A) Everyone has 2$ B) Everyone but a single person has 1M$. That single person has 1$.

1.1.2. Mimimum bias.

1.2. Real world applications:

1.2.1. Orchestra hiring musicians literally hidden behind a curtain started employing more women.

1.2.2. Decision making (analogie) happens behind a veil regarding the distant-future The thought experiment allows us to pass laws with bipartisan approval easier if we look in the distant future A) We propose that the SC judges mandate is now for 4 years. Enacted now. B) We propose the same, but enacted in 50 years from now.

2. Crashcourse, Hank Green What Is Justice?: Crash Course Philosophy #40

2.1. Justice as equality

2.1.1. Believe that everyone should get the same kind and amount of stuff.

2.2. Need-based justice

2.2.1. Everyone shouldn't get the same, because our needs aren't the same.

2.3. Merit-based justice

2.3.1. Justice actually means giving unequally, based on what each person deserves.


2.4.1. Any inequalities that exist in a social system should favor the least well-off, because this levels the playing field of society. (form of need-based justice) The world is naturally filled with inequalities. The premise suggests the belief in POSITIVE rights (entitled to get help getting it if you can't get it yourself). . Suggests that there is an obligation created by the existence of a right. IE right to be treated = Government will aid you in getting medical care

2.4.2. Some argue that justice-is-fairness is actually unfair to those who have gotten the most either via hardwork / because they happened to win life’s natural lottery. Nozick's critic: if an athlete has an empirical draw on the crowds, shouldn't he be entitled to ask for more money than his teamates? Yes, the world is full of inequalities, but we're entitled to the stuff we have, provided we didn't steal it or otherwise obtain it unjustly. His premise is NEGATIVE rights, where the government can't stop you to get XYZ. Government will not stop you from going to a hospital, but won't help you with care.

3. BBC Radio, Veil of ignorance The Veil Of Ignorance "What is your blueprint for a just society?"

3.1. Your answer probably reflects who you are and the situation you find yourself in. If you’re rich, you may well be in favour of the freedom to earn and enjoy the fruits of your efforts; if you’re poor you’re likely to be more supportive of a system that redistributes wealth.

3.2. Rawls wants us to ignore which person we will be in the society and then answer the question.

3.2.1. This is the veil. It allows us to construct a much fairer society. We can suppose it would allow for -Extensive freedoms -Fair equality of opportunity -No extremes in pay

3.2.2. Might end up black, white, in a wheelchair, wealthy or gay etc. You don't know!

4. School of Life, Political theory - John Rawls POLITICAL THEORY - John Rawls

4.1. 1) Things as they are are patently unfair

4.1.1. Statistics, income projection, opportunities etc.

4.2. 2) Imagine if you were not you

4.2.1. Society is unfair because those who benefit from how it is don't want to see it changed. In fact, they barely ever even think about what the other side of the fence looks like.

4.2.2. The veil of ignorance Imagine yourself in a conscious and intelligible state before our own birth, but before any knowledge of the circumstances we'd be born into. "If we knew nothing about where we'd end up, what sort of a society would it feel safe to enter?"

4.3. 3) You know what needs to be fixed

4.3.1. Any sane participant will want a number of things to abide by certain rules. Good schools, good hospitals, fair access to the law, decent housing for everyoine We all know the society we want to live in, but we simply don't focus on it now because the choices have already been made. It allows for a better objective view on our ideal society.

4.3.2. "How would I feel about this issue if I were stuck behind the veil of ignorance?" How would you like being in the position of the most unfortunate in your society? The fair answer emerges naturally from this question

4.4. 4) What to do next?

4.4.1. Depends on what's wrong with your society; different issues in different contexts. Rawls provides a tool to better criticize our own society, and not a checklist of things we must attain!

5. A Theory of Justice – Business EthicsShare

5.1. Based on the social contract theory

5.1.1. Natural human state is freedom, not subjugation, but they will rationally submit to some restrictions of their freedoms to secure their mutual safety and benefit.

5.2. Five procedural steps to attain justice.

5.2.1. 1) Entering into the contract 2) Agreeing unanimously to the contract 3) Including basic conditions in the contract such as freedom of speech 4) Maximizing the welfare of the most disadvantaged persons 5) ensuring the stability of the contract.

5.3. Humans are inherently good.

5.3.1. Echoes Kant who said we are inclined towards moral rectitude and action

5.4. Metaphor of the cake

5.4.1. What's the best way to cut up a cake? You ask the person who is slicing the cake to take the last piece. It supposes that that person will redistribute the cake in equal slices.

5.5. Critics

5.5.1. Criticism of Rawls’s theory focuses primarily on the issue of distribution, because decisions made in ignorance can neither reward innovation and enterprise nor encourage risk.

5.5.2. Tyranny of the majority

6. Main principles: 1) Original position 2) Veil of ignorance 3) Unanimity of acceptance

7. Introduction to Rawls: A Theory of Justice

7.1. A theory in response to utilitarianism

7.1.1. Some rights should not be negated "for the greater good" The small isolated village should also have services provided to them.

7.1.2. "It seems unlikely that persons who view themselves as equals would agree to a principle which may require lesser life prospects for some simply for the sake of a greater sum of advantages enjoyed by others" A) 60% have 1M$ total... 40% have 10$ between them This is the utilitarinism's favorite since it has 10$ more than option B. B) 50% have 400k total ... 50% would have 600k between them.


7.2.1. "The principles that free and rational persons concerned to further their own interests would accept in an initial position of equality as defining the fundamental terms of their association." The basic structure of society and its rules as determined by people behind the veil of ignorance. What the original position would sign as a social contract. Rawls assumes that people are RATIONAL INDIVIDUALISTS; they would choose in a rational way to benefit themselves

7.3. "The higher expectations of those better situated are just if and only if they work as part of a scheme which improves the expectations of the least advantaged members of society."

7.3.1. DIFFERENCE PRINCIPAL "Maximin strategy" Summary: "All social values-- liberty and opportunity, income and wealth, and the bases of self-respect-- are to be distributed equally unless of an unequal distribution of any, or all, of these values is to everyone's advantage" 1) Each person has an equal right to a fully adequate scheme of equal basic liberties which is compatible with a similar scheme of liberties of all 2) Social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are to be both: a) to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged b) attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity