Contractarianism and cooperation

Abstract
Because contractarians see justice as mutual advantage, they hold that justice can be rationally grounded only when each can expect to gain from it. John Rawls seems to avoid this feature of contractarianism by fashioning the parties to the contract as Kantian agents whose personhood grounds their claims to justice. But Rawls also endorses the Humean idea that justice applies only if people are equal in ability. It would seem to follow from this idea that dependent persons (such as the disabled) lack claims of justice. It appears, then, that the Kantian and Humean themes in Rawls conflict. I present a reading of Rawls that resolves this tension between the Kantian and Humean themes. The first theme, I argue, allows Rawls to maintain that persons as such are owed justice regardless of their ability to engage in social cooperation. The second theme, I argue, allows him to retain Hume's connection between justice and reciprocity, but confines the reciprocity condition to relations among nondependents. I conclude that Rawls's approach permits him to rebut recent criticisms leveled by disability theorists and others who claim that his theory excludes dependents. Key Words: Rawls • reciprocity • disability • dependency • circumstances of justice.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Christie Hartley (2011). Disability and Justice. Philosophy Compass 6 (2):120-132.
    Cynthia A. Stark (2013). Luck, Opportunity and Disability. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 16 (3):383-402.
    Similar books and articles
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2009-01-28

    Total downloads

    29 ( #50,815 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,662 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.