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Note : this question does not aim at discussing in detail Rawls' theory, nor at showing a profound knowledge of Rawls' doctrine ; it only deals with the global intentions of Rawls in A Theory Of Justice.


  • I would like to represent Rawls global reasoning in A Theory Of Justice as a short argument.

My question is : should we understand " society the principles of which are ( or could be) chosen in the original position under a veil of ignorance" as a suffcient conditon of " being a just society " , or as a necessary condition, or both?

  • Does Rawls intend to say that :

(1) If the basic principles are ( or could be) agreed upon in the original position under a veil of ignorance , then a society based on these principles is just.

(2) But , if they are agreed upon in thse conditions, the principles are equal liberty + difference principle

(3) Threfore a just society is a society based on equal liberty + difference principle.

OR

(1) If a society is just, then its basic principles could be agreed upon in the original position under a veil of ignorance.

(2) If these principles could be agreed upon in these conditions, then, these principles would ne equal liberty + difference principle.

(3) Therefore, if a society is just, it is based on equal liberty + difference princples.

I do not think the " sufficient condition" reading yields a valid argument. I do not think the "necessary condition" reading yields a complete theory.

How could these arguments be improved?

Which reading best represents Rawls' intentions?

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