Defense of Rawls: A Reply to Brock

Res Cogitans 4 (1):181-188 (2007)
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Cosmopolitans like Gillian Brock, Charles Beitz, and Thomas Pogge argue that the principles of justice selected and arranged in lexical priority in Rawls’ first original position would—and should for the same reasons as in the first—also be selected in Rawls’ second original position. After all, the argument goes, what reasons other than morally arbitrary ones do we have for selecting a second set of principles? A different, though undoubtedly related, point of contention is the cosmopolitan charge that Rawls fails to consider the unfavorable conditions that owe themselves to global factors. Perhaps there was a time when interconnectedness and interdependency between states was not a factor, but in the current global order, this is certainly not the case. While this paper will address other related cosmopolitan concerns mentioned in Brock’s work, it is these two points that are perhaps the two biggest threats to the Rawlsian project and, as such, it is these two points that will be the primary focus of this paper.



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Paul C. Fryfogle
Georgia State University

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The Law of Peoples.John Rawls - 1993 - Critical Inquiry 20 (1):36-68.
The Law of Peoples.John Rawls - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203):246-253.

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