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John Rawls

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David Hayes

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3(21) John Rawls
9:57 AM
Rawls Contractarian Liberalism
Part of the social contract tradition
Unique contribution consists of one fundamental methodological device and one ideological
The veil of ignorance [ignorance of what…]
The difference principle [difference between income, wealth, power]
4 theories of human nature
1. Homo politicus [political man (Aristotle)]
2. Homo economicus [a rational self-interested utility maximizer]
3. Homo iudens [man is a wolf to man (Hobbes)]
4. Homo faber [makers or worker (both Marx and Rand)]
What is a "person"?
Footnote 1, p161
Involves 2 'moral powers'
1. A sense of justice
2. A concept of the good
3 senses of freedom
1. The power to have a concept of good [162]
2. Self-authenticating sources of valid claims [163]
3. Taking responsibility for the ends we choose. Very similar to Sartre [164]
Concept of the good
One definition "what is valuable in human life"
But it is not fixed forever
Something we can "form, revise, and rationally pursue"
These goods/aims/ends are both political and non-political
Self-authenticating sources
Two aspects
They are entitled to make claims on institutions to advance their claims about the good
Second aspect is unclear
Taking responsibility
"they can adjust their ends" so that they can be pursued in such a way that "they can reasonably
expect to acquire in return for what they can reasonably expect to contribute"
The ends do not justify the means, the ends have to be justified first
Summary of 3 major points
1. We are free and equal persons due to our 2 moral powers
2. Three respects in which we are free
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