CRM/LAW C10 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Meritocracy, Thought Experiment

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C10 Notes 1-26- Equality, civil liberties, and the principle of justice
-Jaws Rawls Theory of Justice
Thought experiment: what principles would we agree to if we were in an initial situation of
What principles should govern our collective life?
Choose ehid a eil of igorae
-Emerging Principles of justice
Provide equal basic liberties for all citizens
o Unconditional rights
Stabilize social and economic inequalities
Does not require equal distribution of income and wealth
-What are the moral limits of contracts?
The ere fat that to parties ake a deal does’t ea it’s fair
-Independent Standard of Fairness
Autonomy (consent)
Reciprocity (mutual benefit)
Both are required for contracts to have moral force
-Should an elderly woman be required to pay a plumber $50,000 to repair her broken toilet if she signed
and agreed to it?
NO, because charging $50,000 to repair a toilet us unfair
-What kind of contract would we imagine in a just society?
Initial position of equality
Honors our rights and duties
No coercion or advantages or power
Truly free market
-How should we govern?
Adopt the Difference Principle:
o Only allow those social and economic inequalities that work to the benefit of the least
advantage members of society
-Rawls Distributive Justice
The distriutio of ioe ad opportuity should ot e ased o fators that do’t aout
for a moral point of view
-For Rawls, the distribution of income and wealth that results from a free market with formal equality of
opportunity is just
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