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44

I feel like this question is conflicted on the issue of 'disproportionate' inequalities. To be clear, most academic and scientific experts are paid well, proportionately more than many other workers in society. Few people become conspicuously wealthy as an intellectual expert, but it is a comfortable lifestyle when one achieves it. So the question isn't ...


32

I disagree with the premise that these two views are in some way contradictory or conflicting to hold at the same time. The alleged discrepancy you're pointing out, when you boil it down to its core, effectively argues that "comparable" and "equatable" are synonymous, which they are not. Note that this answers mainly focuses on the ...


11

Let me set Rawls to one side and bring Marx on stage. It may be a mistake to translate the complex, abstract idea of "equality" into the monetized value measurements of a modern economy. Even Marx recognized that is was silly to suppose socialism meant no more hierarchies or expertise or status systems, some sort of social flattening. Equality is a ...


10

First, I have read only secondary works on Rawls and have not read "Theory of Justice" itself, but it is on my list. Unlike Rand, Rawls was an analytic philosopher with a distinguished background, and was among the first to propose ways in which the Anglo-American tradition could revisit "value" questions such as justice, which had long been proscribed by ...


9

If she [Ayn Rand] has nothing to do with philosophy and her arguments are not philosophical in nature, what is the point? Ayn Rand was a philosopher. She wrote about epistemology in "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology". She wrote about moral and political philosophy in many books. She wrote a book called "Philosophy: Who Needs It": the title essay of ...


8

1. It was never "your" income to begin with There is a key idea one should realize before going any further: there is no such thing as "your" income (unless you have earned it on an inhabited island, or in a lawless jungle, relying on yourself and no one else). When you are earning money within a societal framework, leveraging on its laws ...


7

(From a utilitarian perspective.) There's a tradeoff here that arguably Rawls perspective doesn't fully recognize. It all comes down to the diminishing marginal utility of wealth. On the one hand, the existence of inequality is necessary because most people are motivated by incentives and selfish goals. If it weren't for inequality, there'd be no selfish ...


6

First of all, I just don't believe people are exchangeable in this fashion, because of hereditarian considerations; the exchanging of places before hand would not, in many cases, would not lead to a significant "shake-up" of society, if meritocracy is truly operating — so considering things with a veil seems needless. With respect, I think that this ...


6

You ask "What am I missing in Rawls's theory of justice?" after having said that "Rawls says the rich should be free to get as rich as they want to, as long as the poor get to pick up of a few crumbs here and there." What you are missing is that this is not true at all for Rawls. It's quite simple; you seem to be misunderstanding the second principle of ...


5

One important aspect is that people do not get rich because of hard work, people get rich because they take risks in business. Jeff Bezos is not extremely rich because he has worked hard. He is rich because he has taken several risks that has payed very well off. That is not to say that knowing what risks to take or not is a skill, and as such can be valued. ...


4

You might discribe Nietzsche's work as 'predominantly a collection of his opinions and unsubstantiated postulates and proposals'. So what? You are going to have to qualify 'so much' in relative terms and specific posts; looks to be 1-2 threads a month. Doesn't sound disproportionate. Hobbes is mentioned more frequently than the prestige of his thought ...


4

Something to think about is the distribution of the inequality matters. If you took the entire human population and graphed physical traits like height, weight, strength, you would see a normal distribution, or to simplify a bit, a bell curve with most people within 1 standard deviation of the mean and very very few people on the edges. This gets a bit ...


4

By the logic of who contributes most to the group and/or society as a whole, if we acknowledge that some individuals contributes significantly more to society (based on their formally recognized expertise and training) to the point that their decisions and opinions override those of 1000s or 10s of 1000s that disagree with them, then how can we object to the ...


3

A new government wants to take control. They want to give everyone $5 a month. Because they believe that is equality. There are rich people and poor people. So if the government gives $5 to everyone they are making the rich richer and the poor a bit better off. But still the two classes are not equal However that government says they are. There's ...


3

I think there's kind of two questions actually getting asked here. The first question is: "why would it ever make sense to bring non-philosophical thought into philosophical inquiry?" Though I am no fan of Ayn Rand, I see no good reason why we ought to exclude from discussion the relevant (or maybe only plausibly relevant) thought of any individual simply ...


3

A key idea of the Objectivist philosophy is that arguments must be made in terms of essentials for conclusions to be valid and validatable. This is why, for example, the concept of a human as a rational animal leads to fewer flawed conclusions than other not essential descriptions such as “the animal that makes tools” or the “animal that that is social.” ...


3

I think Rand's rather persistent presence is due to three factors. 1 She is a NAME and is often described in the media as a philosopher. Many questioners are simply rather curious about her on that basis, particularly if they have had no contact with academic philosophy. 2 She does present a body of loosely connected ideas which looks superficially like a ...


3

He is supposing that inequality is a precondition in his hypothetical. If inequality existed (the means by which it came about is not addressed), it would only be acceptable if the gains of the rich also improve the gains of the poor. Under all other conditions, the inequality would not be justifiable. That is my reading of it at least.


3

Objectivism Lite Rand differs from Rawls' Theory of Justice in a very fundamental way on this. In fact I would argue so different as to be opposed. Rawls is essentially presenting a justification for wealth redistribution for the purpose of achieving "greater equality" and using an ethical argument to get there, while Rand presented arguments opposed to ...


3

A "zero-sum" game is one where everything that the winner or winners gain is exactly the same as what the loser or losers lose. Obviously a zero-sum game can be very unjust. If I steal $100 from your pocket, I win $100 and you lose $100, so it's a zero-sum game. If I steal $100 from your pocket by slitting open your pocket, I win $100 and you lose $100 plus ...


3

I think one cannot derive the veil of ignorance from Kant's Categorical Imperative. Both do not contradict, but they follow different aims. Rawl's veil of ignorance is a means to generate fair decisions in case of a conflict of interests. It can be used for all votings where the consequences of the result affect at least some of the voting people. Kant's ...


2

It might be helpful to look at some of Rawls' earlier works to grasp what he's meaning by the term. I take it to refer back to the basic meaning of deliberation in a Theory of Justice. The central image of a Theory of Justice is that we can arrive at a just society if we deliberate about how we would want society organized if we did not know where in ...


2

Perhaps it helps to keep in mind that behind the veil of ignorance, you never know what position in the society you may get. So there is a motivational drive to weigh the respective gains and losses for every position and overall, but especially the ones with the least power to influence anything later on: the powerless and least well-off. You will not ...


2

The two "golden rules" are very similar, but Kant's is strictly deontic and nonconsequentialist. It may even be arguable that its deontic, theological perspective could mandate actions that are not necessarily "good" for a given society or even for "humanity" per se. It is notoriously ill-suited to a complex division of labor in civil society and hence ...


2

A categorical imperative is: Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law. If we compare the categorical imperative to the original position and the veil of ignorance, we can identify the use of the categorical imperative in Rawls's theory. When deciding which principles that will ...


2

RAWLS AND INEQUALITY A bit of background-setting is needed – I’ll keep it as brief as I can. The question and any relevant answer clearly concern Rawls’ ‘difference principle’, which he defines as follows : ▻ DIFFERENCE PRINCIPLE DEFINED 'Social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are ... to the greatest benefit of the least ...


2

"(having the institution of property) in order to (punish thieves)" is being compared to "(organizing society) in order to (reward moral deserts)", if I've untangled the grammar correctly. Thieves take other people's property. That's the whole idea of being a thief. If we had no idea of property, we'd have no idea of thievery, and certainly no idea of ...


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