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  1. The Fallibility Objection to the Original Position.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    Do individuals in John Rawls’s original position take into account the fallibility of human nature? Some notable commentators on Rawls say that they do or that they should. But this enables us to say that individuals in the original position would not come to an agreement at all.
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  2. Nationalism and the Original Position.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This is a one-page handout presenting some objections nationalists might or do make to John Rawls's original position method.
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  3. Ought-Implies-Can, the Original Position, and Reflective Equilibrium.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    Are John Rawls’s most noticeable methodological contributions, reflective equilibrium and the original position, consistent with each other? I draw attention to a worry that they stand in inconsistent relationships to the claim that ought implies can: it can only be the case that we ought to do something if we can do it.
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  4. Are Reflective Equilibrium and the Original Position Consistent? The Historical Bias Problem.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    In this paper, I present a problem for regarding the reflective equilibrium and original position methods as consistent. I do not prove that there is an inconsistency, but there is a puzzle of how the two methods can be made consistent.
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  5. Between the Original Original Position and Nationalism.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    In this paper, I present a way in which John Rawls’s original position thought experiment can be brought closer to nationalism. The social science laws can be taken from a nation’s heritage.
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  6. “What is the Difference Between Your Subset Objection to Rawls on Utilitarianism and T.H. Irwin’s Commentary?”.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    T.H. Irwin’s stimulating commentary on John Rawls anticipates but does not make “the subset objection to Rawls.” This term of mine is potentially misleading, but Irwin’s commentary is more so: I argue that relevant parts involve dubious commitments.
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  7. Doing History in the Original Position.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    An objection to John Rawls’s original position is that it faces a problem of inconsistent features: the individuals in this hypothetical situation are not supposed to know where they are in history, but they have knowledge of general social science, from which they can infer at which point in time they are. In this paper, I consider two solutions. One of these solutions depends on extending a solution to another well-known objection: that readers cannot imagine lacking the knowledge that these (...)
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  8. Beyond Ideal Theory: Foundations for a Critical Rawlsian Theory of Climate Justice.Paul Clements & Paul Formosa - forthcoming - New Political Science:1-20.
    Rawls’s contractualist approach to justice is well known for its adoption of ideal theory. This approach starts by setting out the political goal or ideal and leaves it to non-ideal or partial compliance theory to map out how to get there. However, Rawls’s use of ideal theory has been criticized by Sen from the right and by Mouffe from the left. We critically address these concerns in the context of developing a Rawlsian approach to climate justice. While the importance of (...)
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  9. Una interpretación equilibrada de la posición original de Rawls.Jorge Crego - 2021 - Anales de la Cátedra Francisco Suárez 55:183-208.
    The aim of the present paper is to offer an interpretation of the Rawlsian original position coherent with its own theory of justice. An evaluation of the aforementioned mechanism is presented. Afterwards, in light of it, a solution of the existing overlapping between its elements is offered. The solution is to consider the formal constraints as «partial conclusions», excluding them from the original position. The original position, as an «intermediate stage» aimed at representing the philosophical foundations of Rawls's theory in (...)
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  10. Uncertainty, Equality, Fraternity.Rush T. Stewart - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):9603-9619.
    Epistemic states of uncertainty play important roles in ethical and political theorizing. Theories that appeal to a “veil of ignorance,” for example, analyze fairness or impartiality in terms of certain states of ignorance. It is important, then, to scrutinize proposed conceptions of ignorance and explore promising alternatives in such contexts. Here, I study Lerner’s probabilistic egalitarian theorem in the setting of imprecise probabilities. Lerner’s theorem assumes that a social planner tasked with distributing income to individuals in a population is “completely (...)
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  11. A Ghost Workers' Bill of Rights: How to Establish a Fair and Safe Gig Work Platform.Julian Friedland, David Balkin & Ramiro Montealegre - 2020 - California Management Review 62 (2).
    Many of us assume that all the free editing and sorting of online content we ordinarily rely on is carried out by AI algorithms — not human persons. Yet in fact, that is often not the case. This is because human workers remain cheaper, quicker, and more reliable than AI for performing myriad tasks where the right answer turns on ineffable contextual criteria too subtle for algorithms to yet decode. The output of this work is then used for machine learning (...)
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  12. Nonideal Justice as Nonideal Fairness.Marcus Arvan - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (2):208-228.
    This article argues that diverse theorists have reasons to theorize about fairness in nonideal conditions, including theorists who reject fairness in ideal theory. It then develops a new all-purpose model of ‘nonideal fairness.’ §1 argues that fairness is central to nonideal theory across diverse ideological and methodological frameworks. §2 then argues that ‘nonideal fairness’ is best modeled by a nonideal original position adaptable to different nonideal conditions and background normative frameworks (including anti-Rawlsian ones). §3 then argues that the parties to (...)
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  13. Global Public Reason, Diversity, and Consent.Samuel Director - 2019 - Philosophical Papers 48 (1):31-57.
    In this paper, I examine global public reason as a method of justifying a global state. Ultimately, I conclude that global public reason fails to justify a global state. This is the case, because global public reason faces an unwinnable dilemma. The global public reason theorist must endorse either a hypothetical theory of consent or an actual theory of consent; if she endorses a theory of hypothetical consent, then she fails to justify her principles; and if she endorses a theory (...)
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  14. John Rawls' 'A Theory of Justice'.Benjamin Davies - 2018 - 1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology.
    Some people are multi-billionaires; others die because they are too poor to afford food or medications. In many countries, people are denied rights to free speech, to participate in political life, or to pursue a career, because of their gender, religion, race or other factors, while their fellow citizens enjoy these rights. In many societies, what best predicts your future income, or whether you will attend college, is your parents’ income. -/- To many, these facts seem unjust. Others disagree: even (...)
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  15. Justice at the Margins: The Social Contract and the Challenge of Marginal Cases.Nathan Bauer & David Svolba - 2017 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (1):51-67.
    Attempts to justify the special moral status of human beings over other animals face a well-known objection: the challenge of marginal cases. If we attempt to ground this special status in the unique rationality of humans, then it becomes difficult to see why nonrational humans should be treated any differently than other, nonhuman animals. We respond to this challenge by turning to the social contract tradition. In particular, we identify an important role for the concept of recognition in attempts to (...)
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  16. The Savings Problem in the Original Position: Assessing and Revising a Model.Eric Brandstedt - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (2):269-289.
    The common conception of justice as reciprocity seemingly is inapplicable to relations between non-overlapping generations. This is a challenge also to John Rawls’s theory of justice as fairness. This text responds to this by way of reinterpreting and developing Rawls’s theory. First, by examining the original position as a model, some revisions of it are shown to be wanting. Second, by drawing on the methodology of constructivism, an alternative solution is proposed: an amendment to the primary goods named ‘sustainability of (...)
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  17. Taking Risks Behind the Veil of Ignorance.Buchak Lara - 2017 - Ethics 127 (3):610-644.
    A natural view in distributive ethics is that everyone's interests matter, but the interests of the relatively worse off matter more than the interests of the relatively better off. I provide a new argument for this view. The argument takes as its starting point the proposal, due to Harsanyi and Rawls, that facts about distributive ethics are discerned from individual preferences in the "original position." I draw on recent work in decision theory, along with an intuitive principle about risk-taking, to (...)
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  18. Non-Social Human Beings in the Original Position.Terence Rajivan Edward - 2016 - Philosophical Pathways (205).
    This paper argues that Rawls must commit himself to non-social human beings to defend his original position procedure.
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  19. Rawls Versus Utilitarianism: The Subset Objection.Terence Rajivan Edward - 2016 - E-Logos Electronic Journal for Philosophy 23 (2):37-41.
    This paper presents an objection to John Rawls’s use of the original position method to argue against implementing utilitarian rules. The use of this method is pointless because a small subset of the premises Rawls relies on can be used to infer the same conclusion.
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  20. Beyond Rawls' Fiction: The Veil of Ignorance Is Real.Harold Anthony Lloyd - 2016 - Huffington Post.
    Brief thoughts on why Rawls' "fictional" veil of ignorance is in fact real and why social morals and self-interest thus converge.
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  21. ¿Distribución o reconocimiento? Un análisis a partir de John Rawls.Pablo Andrés Aguayo Westwood - 2015 - Quaderns de Filosofia 2 (2):11-28.
    En este artículo defiendo que la concepción rawlsiana de la justicia distributiva va más allá de los márgenes de la justicia asignativa y que esta presenta buenos argumentos para hacer frente a las demandas de reconocimiento. Para alcanzar este objetivo, en primer lugar muestro que algunos críticos del paradigma liberal distributivo malinterpretan la concepción de la justicia distributiva elaborada por Rawls y reducen su finalidad a un mero reparto de bienes. Al hacer lo anterior, ellos no logran comprender la dimensión (...)
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  22. First Steps Toward a Nonideal Theory of Justice.Marcus Arvan - 2014 - Ethics and Global Politics 7 (3):95-117.
    Theorists have long debated whether John Rawls’ conception of justice as fairness can be extended to nonideal (i.e. unjust) social and political conditions, and if so, what the proper way of extending it is. This paper argues that in order to properly extend justice as fairness to nonideal conditions, Rawls’ most famous innovation – the original position – must be reconceived in the form of a “nonideal original position.” I begin by providing a new analysis of the ideal/nonideal theory distinction (...)
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  23. The Choice of Economic Systems in the Rawlsian Original Position.Justin P. Holt - 2011 - Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory 3 (39):393-405.
    Rawls’s consideration not to include the choice of economic systems as part of a theory of justice is inconsistent with his comments on redistribution and the political effects of economic inequality. When Rawls’s discussion of economic systems and his discussion of economic inequalities is examined, it is apparent that the selection of economic systems is a pertinent topic for a theory of justice. The propensity for the primary social good of self-respect to be satisfied can be affected by the selection (...)
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  24. Rawls and Rousseau: Amour-Propre and the Strains of Commitment.Robert Jubb - 2011 - Res Publica 17 (3):245-260.
    In this paper I try to illuminate the Rawlsian architectonic through an interpretation of what Rawls’ Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy say about Rousseau. I argue that Rawls’ emphasis there when discussing Rousseau on interpreting amour-propre so as to make it compatible with a life in at least some societies draws attention to, and helps explicate, an analogous feature of his own work, the strains of commitment broadly conceived. Both are centrally connected with protecting a sense of self (...)
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  25. A Critique of the Incentives Argument for Inequalities.Max Seeger - 2011 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 25 (1):40-52.
    According to the incentives argument, inequalities in material goods are justifiable if they are to the benefit of the worst off members of society. In this paper, I point out what is easily overlooked, namely that inequalities are justifiable only if they are to the overall benefit of the worst off, that is, in terms of both material and social goods. I then address the question how gains in material goods can be weighed against probable losses in social goods. The (...)
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  26. Debate: Ideal Theory—A Reply to Valentini.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2010 - Journal of Political Philosophy 18 (3):357-368.
    In her ‘On the apparent paradox of ideal theory’, Laura Valentini combines three supposedly plausible premises to derive the paradoxical result that ideal theory is both unable to, and indispensable for, guiding action. Her strategy is to undermine one of the three premises by arguing that there are good and bad kinds of ideal theory, and only the bad kinds are vulnerable to the strongest version of their opponents’ attack. By undermining one of the three premises she releases ideal theorists (...)
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  27. The Role of Secularism in Protecting Religion.John S. Wilkins - 2010 - In Warren Bonett (ed.), The Australian Book of Atheism. Embiggen Books.
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  28. A Nonideal Theory of Justice.Marcus Arvan - 2008 - Dissertation, University of Arizona
    This dissertation defends a “non-ideal theory” of justice: a systematic theory of how to respond justly to injustice. Chapter 1 argues that contemporary political philosophy lacks a non-ideal theory of justice, and defends a variation of John Rawls’ famous original position – a Non-Ideal Original Position – as a method with which to construct such a theory. Chapter 1 then uses the Non-Ideal Original Position to argue for a Fundamental Principle of Non-Ideal Theory: a principle that requires injustices to be (...)
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  29. Hypothetical Consent and Justification.Cynthia A. Stark - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (6):313.
    Hypothetical contracts have been said to be not worth the paper they are not written on. This paper defends hypothetical consent theories of justice, such as Rawls's, against the view that they lack justificatory power. I argue that while hypothetical consent cannot generate political obligation, it can generate political legitimacy.
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  30. Minimizing Maximin.D. Clayton Hubin - 1980 - Philosophical Studies 37 (4):363 - 372.
    In A Theory of Justice, John Rawls provides several arguments contractors in the original position using maximin reasoning, which leads directly to the difference principle. These arguments are inadequate to support the claim that maximin reasoning is the uniquely rational approach to choice in the original position.
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  31. Nach welchen Prinzipien sollte der Staat die Verteilung von Gütern gestalten? Eine systematische Darstellung der Diskussion zwischen John Rawls und John Harsanyi.David Pomerenke - 2017
    Harsanyi und Rawls haben zu der Frage, wie die wichtigen Güter in einem Staat verteilt sein sollten, zwei sehr ähnliche Theorien entwickelt, kommen aber zu unterschiedlichen Schlüssen. Harsanyi plädiert für eine utilitaristische Regel, Rawls dagegen für eine Regel, die sich auf diejenigen konzentriert, denen es in der Gesellschaft am schlechtesten geht. Die fast fünfzig Jahre andauernde Diskussion zwischen den beiden wird hier systematisch dargestellt und analysiert. Erstens wird gezeigt, dass sich unter Berücksichtigung von Abneigung gegen Risiko und abnehmendem Grenznutzen die (...)
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