Strict compliance and Rawls's critique of utilitarianism

Theoria 49 (3):142-158 (1983)
provide a plausible alternative to utilitarianism. Rawls gives two kinds of arguments to show that his two principles of justice are more plausible or more nearly correct than utilitarianism. First, he argues that the two principles of justice provide a better match with our 'considered judgments in reflective equilibrium.' Second, he argues that his two principles would be chosen in preference to the principle of utility in 'the original position.' I shall be concerned only with the second of these two arguments in this paper. According to Rawls, people in the original position choose principles on the assumption that whatever principles are chosen will be strictly complied with, i.e., they choose on the assumption that the basic institutions of their society and all of the actions of its members will be in compliance with whatever principles are chosen
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