John Rawls’ Social Contract Theory


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Essay #: 072673
Total text length is 9,015 characters (approximately 6.2 pages).

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The beginning:
John Rawls’ Social Contract Theory
This paper will analyze and evaluate John Rawls’ social contract theory. The paper will first examine the social contract theory as a moral theory in general and then focus on Rawls’ theory with particular attention paid to his concepts of ‘the original position’ and ‘the veil of ignorance’. Then, these will be analyzed to show the pitfalls of the theory. The main thesis is that Rawls’ arguments are vague and not sufficiently persuasive. While Rawls’ theory does contain several commendable ideas and principles, overall it fails to be persuasive because veil of ignorance is neither realistic nor necessary for a fair society. At the end, an objection to the above thesis will be considered followed by a...
The end:
Differences / Hobbes’ is egoistical contract (‘own power’, own nature’ etc.) vs. Rawls’ is egalitarian (looks for benefits of others, see p. 138 and two principles’
Original position as hypothetical position and its justification (p. 139 “no one should be advantaged….”
Veil of ignorance (p. 138 “status quo…”
Problems with the ‘veil’ vague – how to achieve this, is it really possible (thought-experiment – a group of individuals over time), does it impede any freedoms to neglect knowledge
Original position: too hypothetical?
Objection: the only way for fairness (as Rawls argues) is the veil of ignorance
Answer: can some knowledge actually be useful when defining contract?!!
Reaffirm thesis – sum up the fairness/knowledge issue