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Rawls - Summary b.w Nozick and Rawls (Exam Note)

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Brian Orend

JOHN RAWLS:  A theory of Justice 1970  Every book on political philosophy  Re: Liberalism  Views Nozick as dangerous extremist  The notion that we don’t care about suicidal institutions is very irresponsible  Of course we should be concerned on the consequences we have upon us  Reflective Equilibrium o Rational + moderate + informed o Balanced between First Principles + consequences  not extreme  View Nozick as having an irrational attitude of a gambler  someone who likes freedom and doesn’t care about what happens o Meet care about law, economy, education, what happens  Rawls cares, but thinks about consequences  Welfare Liberalism is reflected liberalism o Get democracy o Redistributes income o Granted welfare to poorest of the poor  Moreover, welfare liberalism is what we all agree to under free and fair conditions (under ideal circumstances)  this is what justifies it  Rawls says  imagine we’re all coming together to negotiate the shape of the basic structure for society and we have to live under fair conditions o Yes we can live under fair conditions but imagine yourself in an original position  Veil of ignorance  prevents us from knowing  once veil is lifted, wed want to ensure bedrock (basis) position  Bargaining session  we can only negotiate our vapid of human being  We can’t know what our gender is, how rich we are, what education we have, what occupation we’re going to get, how smart we’re going to be, how healthy we’re going to be  e.g. handicapped  We’re stripped of knowledge  so how can we agree on anything?  YES! Through 2 principles o He’s a social contract theorist o Free bargaining situation o What would we agree on in such circumstances o He says there’d be unanimous agreement on the shaping of the basic structure 1. Liberty Principle  Maximum individual freedom for all  Compatible with everyone  If we didn’t know anything  what kind of person we’re going to be (our tastes, beliefs, resources)  we’
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