Title

Original Presupposition: The Inadequacies of John Rawls' Thought-Machine

Date

6-1-2017 1:00 PM

End Time

1-6-2017 1:30 PM

Location

WUC Calapooia Room

Department

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Session Chair

Ryan Hickerson

Session Title

Philosophy, Senior Theses

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Ryan Hickerson

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

In John Rawls’ Theory of Justice, he presents a contractarian approach to justice, suggesting his own “Original Position” as a thought machine for discovering principles of justice as fairness. However, the setup of this device stacks the deck in favor of the principles he selects, and presupposes conceptions of justice that invalidate the process he discusses. In addition, his theory fails to seek principles of justice itself, instead aiming for the maximization of gain for members of society, who he assumes are inherently self-serving inasmuch as they are rational. Rawls’ “Original Position” fails, then, to achieve principles of justice.

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Jun 1st, 1:00 PM Jun 1st, 1:30 PM

Original Presupposition: The Inadequacies of John Rawls' Thought-Machine

WUC Calapooia Room

In John Rawls’ Theory of Justice, he presents a contractarian approach to justice, suggesting his own “Original Position” as a thought machine for discovering principles of justice as fairness. However, the setup of this device stacks the deck in favor of the principles he selects, and presupposes conceptions of justice that invalidate the process he discusses. In addition, his theory fails to seek principles of justice itself, instead aiming for the maximization of gain for members of society, who he assumes are inherently self-serving inasmuch as they are rational. Rawls’ “Original Position” fails, then, to achieve principles of justice.