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Justice - Lecture 18

Lecture 18 - Reconciling Liberty and Equality

- Rawls presents the ideal of a fair society in which life chances are not settled by differences in social background or native endowments. How attractive is that ideal?
- Are native endowments (natural talents) morally on a par with the contingencies of social background? What does it mean to say that your social background and your native talents are "arbitrary from a moral point of view?"
- What principles would people choose in a hypothetical original position, behind a veil of ignorance?
- Why should we care about what would be chosen in the original position?
- Is Rawls's difference principle fair to people who would be better off under a less egalitarian principle?
- What is fair equality of opportunity, and why is it a more compelling idea than formal equality of opportunity?

Prof. Joshua Cohen
17.01J / 24.04J Justice
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare)
Date accessed: 2008-12-28
License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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