50th anniversary of John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice political philosophy book

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Did my dissertation on this – can’t believe it’s that long ago!


I really like his idea of the veil of ignorance in regards to lawmakers. It is in keeping with the spirit of the Constitution, the idea being that Congress is subject to all laws that they pass (no longer true with things like insider trading) and that once you leave the government you return to being an ordinary citizen with no special privileges.


his argument for the difference principle is basically unimpeachable imo. still haven’t seen a compelling objection after many years, just a bunch of straw-grasping. but nielsen comes closest (again, imo)


I remember coming across Rawls in my masters studies and feeling like the difference principle made so much more intuitive sense than alternative approaches to social justice. It seems odd to me that Rawls himself was so keen to de-emphasise the principle in favour of the preceding ones. It seemed to me that the difference principle was the most novel and useful, while the other principles were qualifications to the application of it (albeit necessary ones).


lol you really had to taint philosophy, ethics, and rawls by posting a vox article?