John Rawls Political Theorist

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John Rawls Political Theorist

The Original Position*The original position is a thought experiment: an imaginary situation in which each real citizen is represented and able to come to agreement on which principles of justice should order the political institutions * Veil of ignorance- deprived of knowledge of the race, class, and gender of the real citizen they represent

"The most important political philosopher of the 20th century"

John Rawls

Principals of Justice: "Justice as Fairness" TJ: The first principle guarantees the right of each person to have the most extensive basic liberty compatible with the liberty of others. The second principle states that social and economic positions are to be (a) to everyone's advantage and (b) open to allPL: Each person has equal claim to basic rights and liberties and scheme must have same design for everyone including guaranteed political rights. Social and economic inequalities must fulfill two conditions: "first, they are to be attached to positions and offices open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity; and second, they are to be to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged members of society."

* Born in Baltimore, MD to prominent attorney* Tragedy in childhood* Princeton undergraduate interest in theology*WWII military service and disillusionment * Princeton PhD in moral philosophy* Forty year tenure at Harvard* Theory of Justice 1971 & Political Liberalism 1993

February 21, 1921 – November 24, 2002

Reflective Equilibrium (1) Identifies a group of considered judgments about justice (such as that slavery and religious persecution are unjust)(2) Attempts to explain and justify these considered judgments by discovering what principles of justice can be foundations(3) Addresses any lack of fit between the principles one has arrived at and considered judgments about justice

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