PHIL 1010 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Fallacy, On Liberty, Political Freedom

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10 Aug 2016
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October 23rd, 2014
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Philosophy Seminar:
Rawls – Liberty Equality
The Problem:
What is just a form of wealth distribution in a liberal democratic state? What is fair?
Can you have true freedom in a society where some people have lots of money, and some
people have very little money?
Natural Talents:
Natural primary goods health, intelligence, vigor, imagination not affected by social
institutions, not distributed by them
Social primary goods goods that are distributed by social institutions income, wealth,
opportunities, rights, liberties, powers
The Original Position:
1. We are rational
2. We desire a set of primary goods wealth, opportunity, liberties, and self-respect. This
includes social goods and natural goods education, health care, intelligence
3. We are mutually disinterested ! don’t care if you succeed or not
4. Have a sense of justice, even though we don’t know what the principles are ! feeling that
there is right and wrong
5. We are situated behind a veil of ignorance ! we don’t know who we are or who we’re going
to be
Equal Basic Liberties:
These are applied to everyone, to the extend that they do not interfere with the basic liberties
of other people
Freedom of thought and conscience
Political freedom
Freedom of association
Integrity of the person
Right to rule of law (generality and predictability) ! laws apply to everyone and we know
what they are
Difference Principle:
This is meant to compensate for the consequences of difference in natural talent
Differences of income should only be tolerated to the extent that they benefit the least well off
There needs to be a fair standard of living for everyone
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