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MODR 1760- Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 64 pages long!)


Department
Modes Of Reasoning
Course Code
MODR 1760
Professor
Patrick Philips
Study Guide
Midterm

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York
MODR 1760
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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A Theory of Justice John Rawls Winter Week 1
Main Idea of the Theory of Justice
o Principles of justice are chosen behind a veil of ignorance
No one is advantageous nor disadvantageous
Principles of Justice is fair between individuals
o Those that follow the principle can fairly say they are cooperating as beings that
equally respect each other
Our principles are justified by the acceptance of the people
However, in society, people are born and placed into a position
Members are autonomous and obligations are self-imposed
o Principle of utility is incompatible with justice
No one will sacrifice his own self-interest for the equal mutual advantage
for the greater good
Instead, two different principles arise
Equality in assignment of basic rights and duties
Social and economic inequalities are just only if they result in
compensating benefits for everyone
o The division of advantages should be such as to draw forth
the willing cooperation of everyone taking part in it, even
the less fortunate
If the fortunate are working on a scheme, even
the less fortunate should contribute for the
greater welfare of all
o Viewpoints on the two principles of justice
Justice as fairness consists of two parts
Interpretation of the initial situation and of the problem of choice
posed there
o The concept of initial contractual situation may seem
reasonable, but the principles proposed may be denied
Set of principles which would be agreed to
o If the principles are agreed, the concept of initial
contractual situation may be denied
Basically works vice versa, one acceptance may
hinder the acceptance of the other
o Justice as fairness is not a complete contract theory
Contract idea can be extended to choice of an entire ethical system
Does not account our fairness towards animals and nature
Two Principles of Justice
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First Principle: Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive
basic liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others
Everyone should have equal access to political liberty
o Vote, property, freedom of thought, freedom from
arbitrary arrest
Second: Social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they
are both reasonably expected to be to everyones advantage, and
attached to positions and offices open to all
Distribution of income and wealth and to the design of
organizations that make use of differences in authority and
responsibility
o While positions are not equal, it must be accessible by all
and must be to everyone’s advantage
o These principles apply primarily to basic structure of society
Governs assignment of rights and duties and regulates distribution of
advantages
The principles must be arranged in serial order
Must not try to benefit all while stripping away ones political
liberty rights
o Injustice is then simply inequalities that are not to the benefit of all(?)
Imagine if all social primary goods(goods that are required by all, such as
income and food, rights, etc) were evenly distributed. This is fair
However, by sacrificing some of the social primary goods, it can be
compensated by economic and social gains
o And the principle only points that people must be better
off by the inequality is, it doesn’t specify the inequality
o Why the principles should be in serial order
The acknowledgement of the absolute weight of liberty is with respect to
social and economic advantages is reasonable
o The two principles affect and apply to institutions
The rights and liberties referred to by these principles are defined by the
public rules of the basic structure
Whether men are free is determined by rights and duties of the
major institution
o The first principle simply requires that everyone follows
the same rules that define liberty and apply equally to all
The second principles mentioning of person refers to representative
persons holding the various social positions
Well-being represents individuals holding these positions
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