Rawls Explained From Fairness to Utopia

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  • Copyright: 2011-04-01
  • Publisher: Open Court
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We live in a world that is increasingly unjust. In many liberal democratic societies the gap between the best-off and the worst-off grows larger. Other societies pursue economic growth while remaining blind to their citizens' political rights and freedoms. The citizens of some other societies are so bereft of basic resources that they struggle to maintain their human dignity.

Author Biography

Paul Voice teaches philosophy at Bennington College, Vermont. He is the author of Morality and Agreement: A Defense of Moral Contractarianism (2002). He has published articles in numerous scholarly journals, including Studies in Psychoanalytic Theory, Theoria, Psychology in Society, South African Journal of Philosophy, Journal of Ethics and Politics, Philosophical Papers, and The Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xii
Introductionp. 1
A Theory of Justicep. 7
Two Introductory Ideasp. 7
The Idea of Reasonable Hopep. 7
The Argument from Imaginative Identificationp. 9
The Analytic of Justicep. 13
The Original Positionp. 13
Personsp. 14
Moral Personalityp. 15
Persons as Rationalp. 15
Persons as Reasonablep. 16
Self-Conceptionp. 16
Persons as Freep. 16
Persons as Equalp. 18
Circumstances of Choicep. 18
Circumstances of Justicep. 19
Objective Circumstancesp. 19
Subjective Circumstancesp. 20
Epistemic Constraintsp. 20
Veil of Ignorancep. 21
Motivational Constraintsp. 25
Mutual Disinterestp. 25
Strains of Commitmentp. 26
Method of Reasoningp. 28
Formal Constraints of Reasonp. 28
Maximin Principlep. 31
The Objects of Deliberationp. 32
Basic Structurep. 32
Primary Goodsp. 32
The Principlesp. 39
Three Main Grounds For the Principlesp. 39
A Statement of the Two Principlesp. 41
The Greatest Equal Liberty Principlep. 41
The Difference Principle and The Equal Opportunity Principlep. 43
The Ordering of the Principlesp. 46
The Utilitarian Alternativep. 48
Four Arguments against Utilitarianismp. 49
The Practicum of Justicep. 54
Realizing the Principles: The Four-Stage Sequencep. 54
Constitutional Questionsp. 56
The Problem of Tolerationp. 57
The Problem of Participationp. 60
The Worth of Libertyp. 60
Majority Rulep. 62
Legislative Questionsp. 63
The Problem of the Social Minimump. 63
The Tendency to Equalityp. 64
Self-Respectp. 67
Choice of Economic Regimep. 68
Administrative Questionsp. 71
The Problem of Civil Disobediencep. 72
The Theoretical Basis of Justicep. 75
Justification of the Principlesp. 76
Reflective Equilibrium-Narrow and Widep. 76
The Right and the Goodp. 81
The Thin Theory of the Good and the Aristotelian Principlep. 82
The Priority of the Rightp. 85
The Problem of Stabilityp. 86
Objections and Responsesp. 88
The Libertarian Argumentp. 88
Desertp. 88
Self-Ownershipp. 90
Private Propertyp. 91
Response to the Libertarian Argumentp. 92
The Feminist Argumentp. 97
Response to the Feminist Argumentp. 98
The Communitarian Argumentp. 100
The Abstracted Self-Identity and Agencyp. 100
Communityp. 102
Response to the Communitarian Ideap. 104
For Further Reading on A Theory of Justicep. 106
Political Liberalismp. 109
The Good in Political Liberalismp. 109
Political Conception of the Goodp. 111
The Fact of Pluralismp. 111
Freestanding Viewsp. 112
Freestanding Views As Political Conceptionsp. 114
The Justification of the Principles Reconsideredp. 117
Political Constructionismp. 118
Objectivityp. 119
Methodp. 120
Reasonablenessp. 121
The Burdens of Judgmentp. 122
Reasonable Comprehensive Doctrinesp. 125
The Overlapping Consensusp. 127
Public Reasonp. 129
The Right and Good Revisited: Stability for the Right Reasonsp. 138
Objections and Responsesp. 141
Do We Need Truth in Politics After All?p. 141
Stability or Justification?p. 143
Response to the Questions about Truth and Justificationp. 145
What Kind of Politics Does the Political Allow?p. 148
How Public Is Public Reason?p. 151
Response to Questions about Political Disagreement and Public Reasonp. 152
For Further Reading on Political Liberalismp. 155
The Law of Peoplesp. 159
Ideal Theory-An Analytic of International Justicep. 160
Justice between Liberal Peoplesp. 160
Peoples Not Statesp. 162
Realistic Utopias Revisitedp. 166
The Law of Peoples for Liberal Societiesp. 166
The Second Original Positionp. 166
The Contractors as Representativesp. 167
The Second Veil of Ignorancep. 167
The Eight Principlesp. 169
The Problem of Stability and the Idea of Democratic Peacep. 171
Toleration of Nonliberal Peoplesp. 173
Decent Peoplesp. 173
The Third Original Positionp. 176
The Practicum of International Justicep. 177
Nonideal Theoryp. 177
Outlaw States and the Right to Wage Warp. 178
Burdened Societies and the Problem of Distributive Justicep. 179
Objections and Responsesp. 182
The Cosmopolitan Argumentp. 183
The Universalism Objectionp. 183
The Human Rights Objectionp. 185
The Distributive Justice Objectionp. 187
The Cultural Relativist Argumentp. 188
Response to the Cosmopolitan Argument and the Cultural Relativist Argumentp. 189
For Further Reading on The Law of Peoplesp. 192
Conclusionp. 195
Bibliographyp. 197
Indexp. 203
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