Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||Until recently, Rawlsian orthodoxy held that John Rawls’ ideal theory of justice as fairness can be straightforwardly extended to nonideal social conditions. A. John Simmons and I have demonstrated this view to be false. Rawls lacks any analysis of transitional fairness. Simmons, however, is skeptical about the possibility of constructing a comprehensive theory of transitional fairness. I show that such a theory is possible by beginning a project that Rawls once suggested: systematically extending his “original position” to nonideal theory. I construct a nonideal theoretic original position on the basis of Rawls’ arguments, showing how it is both reasonable and rational for the parties to prioritize a class of "nonideal-theoretic primary goods" over the satisfaction of Rawls' principles and priority relations (contrary to Rawlsian orthodoxy). I show that there are at least three nonideal-theoretic primary goods, and that the parties to the original position have sufficient reason to agree to certain priority relations among them. Finally, I show that the parties to the original position should rationally agree to a general principle for distributing these goods, and by extension, to three lexically ordered corollary principles for distributing each of the three goods discussed.|
|Keywords||Rawls justice nonideal theory ideal theory fairness|
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|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
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