Journal of Moral Philosophy 1 (3):333-347 (2004)

Authors
Robert S. Taylor
University of California, Davis
Abstract
The lexical priority of fair equality of opportunity in John Rawls’s justice as fairness, which has been sharply criticized by Larry Alexander and Richard Arneson among others, is left almost entirely undefended in Rawls’s works. I argue here that this priority rule can be successfully defended against its critics despite Rawls’s own doubts about it. Using the few textual clues he provides, I speculatively reconstruct his defense of this rule, showing that it can be grounded on our interest in self-realization through work. This reconstructed defense makes liberal use of concepts already present in A Theory of Justice , including the Aristotelian Principle (which motivates the achievement of increasing virtuosity) and the Humboldtian concept of social union (which provides the context for the development of such virtuosity). I also show that this commitment to self-realization, far from violating the priority of right in Rawls’s theory, stems directly from his underlying commitment to autonomy, which is the very foundation of the moral law in his doctrine of right. The reconstituted defense of this priority rule not only strengthens the case for justice as fairness but also has important and controversial implications for public policy.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/174046810400100307
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Against Rawlsian Equality of Opportunity.Richard J. Arneson - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 93 (1):77-112.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Difference Principle at Work.Samuel Arnold - 2012 - Journal of Political Philosophy 20 (1):94-118.
Kantian Personal Autonomy.Robert S. Taylor - 2005 - Political Theory 33 (5):602-628.

View all 21 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
1,257 ( #4,332 of 2,498,022 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
57 ( #14,199 of 2,498,022 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes