VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 75 POSTED ON: 10/23/2011
John Rawls PHIL 399: Global Justice U Oregon, Winter 2010 Colin Koopman John Rawls (1921-2002) Today‟s Topics 1. Introducing Rawls 2. Four Roles of Political Philosophy 3. Rawls‟s Fundamental Ideas 4. More on the Idea of the Basic Structure Rawls‟ Major Publications • A Theory of Justice (1971) • Political Liberalism (1993) • The Law of Peoples (1993/1999) • Lectures on the History of Moral Phil. (2000) • Justice as Fairness (2001) „Justice as Fairness‟ • Justice as Fairness: A Restatement (2002) offers a compact and accessible restatement of views developed at greater length first in A Theory of Justice (1971) and later refined in Political Liberalism (1993) Historical Context for Rawls • Anglo Political Philosophy 1850-1950 took one of two forms: – Dominant form included versions of social-scientific utilitarianism and its variants (welfarism, rational choice theory, economics) – Minor form included certain moralistic doctrines which tried to bring justice relations into focus as moral relations (utilitarianism, deontology). • Rawls revived normative political philosophy, rescuing it from the social scientists, and is largely responsible for the shape of analytic political philosophy 1960-2000. What is Political Philosophy Good For? Four Roles of Political Philosophy 1. Practical 2. Orientation 3. Reconciliation 4. Utopianism - Rawls, Justice as Fairness, §1, pp.1-5 Roles of Political Philosophy • Practical: “to focus on deeply disputed questions and to see whether, despite appearances, some underlying basis of philosophical and moral agreement can be uncovered” (2). • Political Philosophy helps us solve practical political, policy, and legal matters. Roles of Political Philosophy • Orientation: “contribute to how a people think of their political and social institutions as a whole” (2). • Political Philosophy orients how we approach our political condition, how we think of ourselves, and others. Roles of Political Philosophy • Reconciliation: “showing us the way in which [our] institutions, when properly understood from a philosophical point of view, are rational” (3). • Political Philosophy helps us understand the advantages and values of current social order. Roles of Political Philosophy • Realistic Utopianism: “probing the limits of practical possibility” (2). • Imagining an ideal world which we can use as a normative measure for current political realities. • The blueprint conception of philosophy handed down from Plato‟s Republic. What are the Fundamental Ideas of Political Philosophy? Fundamental Ideas • A system of inter-related ideas which orient how we ought to think about justice for the practical purposes of reconciling ourselves to the present and, more importantly, imagining a better future. Fundamental Ideas • Rawls believes that the fundamental ideas are already more or less featured in contemporary liberal democracies. • He sees himself as explicating the normative or moral core of liberal democratic politics. • But he is also probing the limits of practical possibility as a utopian would. Role of Fundamental Ideas • The Fundamental Ideas frame how we should go about the process of thinking about and adjudicating matters of justice. • The Fundamental Ideas provide a framework for political reflection and deliberation. Frameworks and Principles • Rawls offers his own arguments for a more Egalitarian Liberalism within the context of the framework supplied by the Fundamental Ideas. • We can detach Rawls‟ Fundamental Ideas Framework from Rawls‟ own Egalitarian Liberalism, if we want to. Rawls‟ Fundamental Ideas Social Cooperation (Well-Ordered Society + Free & Equal Persons) Basic Structure of Society Public Reason Original Position The Six Fundamental Ideas: listed on p.14 (§6.1) of Justice as Fairness. Rawls‟ Fundamental Ideas Social Cooperation (Well-Ordered Society + Free & Equal Persons) Basic Structure of Society Public Reason Original Position Reflective Equilibrum Overlapping Consensus Our Judgments, Beliefs, and Practices The Fundamental Question • What is the fundamental question of political philosophy for a constitutional democratic regime? • “That question is: What is the most acceptable political conception of justice for specifying the fair terms of cooperation between citizens regarded as free and equal and as both reasonable and rational, and (we add) as normal and fully cooperating members of society over a complete life, from one generation to the next?” (8) Social Cooperation Three Essential Features of Social Cooperation (6, §2.2) 1. Distinct from merely socially coordinated activity 2. Includes the idea of fair terms of cooperation that participants may reasonably accept 3. Includes the idea of each participant‟s rational advantage Rawls‟ Fundamental Ideas Social Cooperation (Well-Ordered Society + Free & Equal Persons) Basic Structure of Society Public Reason Original Position The Six Fundamental Ideas: listed on p.14 (§6.1) of Justice as Fairness. Rawls‟ Fundamental Ideas Social Cooperation (Well-Ordered Society + Free & Equal Persons) Basic Structure of Society Public Reason Original Position The Six Fundamental Ideas: listed on p.14 (§6.1) of Justice as Fairness. Free & Equal Persons • The kinds of persons who we are developing a theory of justice for. • The kinds of persons who will deliberate about justice within the frame of the Fundamental Ideas. Free & Equal Persons “Two Moral Powers” (p.18-19, §7.1) • Capacity for a sense of justice (i.e., is able to treat others fairly whether they do or not) • Capacity for a conception of good (i.e., can formulate a plan in which life is taken as successful) Free & Equal Persons • Persons who have capacities for both… – freedom (can autonomously pursue the good) …and… – equality (can treat all others fairly) Free & Equal Persons • Persons must possess both moral powers. • Not a theory for those who pathologically pursue their own good without being able to treat others as equals. • Not a theory for those so obsessed with fairness that they cannot themselves form an idea of what should be good. Free & Equal Persons • “The conception of the person itself is meant as both normative and political, not metaphysical or psychological” (19, §7.2) Well-Ordered Society • A society is well-ordered when it both… – “advances the good of its members” …and.. – “is effectively regulated by a public conception of justice” – Rawls, A Theory of Justice, §1 Well-Ordered Society • A society with fair terms of adjudication accepted by all free and equal persons within that society. • A society possessing “[a] mutually recognized point of view from which citizens can adjudicate their claims” (p.9, §3.1) Well-Ordered Society • “Existing societies are of course seldom well- ordered in this sense, for what is just and unjust is usually in dispute” (Theory, p.5, §1) • The idea of a well-ordered society is thus a normative ideal which we should strive for. Social Cooperation • The two normative Ideas of Well-Ordered Society and Free & Equal Persons help us explicate the Idea of Social Cooperation • Idea of Social Cooperation is really the core starting point. Social Cooperation • “The fundamental organizing idea of justice as fairness, within which the other basic ideas are systematically connected, is that of society as a fair system of cooperation over time” (Rawls, Political Liberalism, p.15, §3 ) Rawls‟ Fundamental Ideas Social Cooperation (Well-Ordered Society + Free & Equal Persons) Basic Structure of Society Public Reason Original Position Reflective Equilibrum Overlapping Consensus Our Judgments, Beliefs, and Practices Basic Structure • Justice as Fairness “takes the basic structure as the primary subject of justice” (10). • The basic structure is the place where fair terms of social cooperation get put into place. What is the Basic Structure? • “The way in which the major social institutions distribute fundamental rights and duties and determine the division of advantages from social cooperation” , (Theory of Justice §2) • Take a normal everyday social scenario and try to determine the enormous amount of apparatus that enables it to function as it does on a regular basis. Basic Structure Portland, Oregon (1918) Basic Structure Some Elements of Basic Structure: • Laws (Rights, Statutes) • Major Social Institutions (Police, Fire) • Material Structures (Roads/Buildings) • Technological Infrastructure (Roads) • Social Relations (Race/Gender) Basic Structure Rotterdam, Netherlands (1940) Basic Structure Saigon, South Vietnam (Apr. 1975) Basic Structure • A unifying idea that helps us see how institutions, material reality, and social custom “fit together into one system of social cooperation” (10). • There is one and only one basic structure for every society. • So, there is (or can be) one and only one theory of justice for every society. Importance of Basic Structure • “Our focus is almost entirely on the basic structure as the subject of political and social justice” (10). • This is where the theory of justice really does its most important work. Locating the Basic Structure • Is there such a thing as a „basic structure of society‟ on a global level? • Or does it make sense to speak of „the basic structure of society‟ only on the national level? Global/National Basic Structure • If there is a global basic structure, then we can perhaps develop a theory of justice for global interconnectedness. • If there is no global basic structure, then it makes sense to talk about justice only at the national leve. Basic Structure • Basic Structure is where the Fundamental Idea of Social Cooperation meets the Fundamental Deliberative Ideals of Public Reason and Original Position. • If the Basic Structure is just, then both our terms of social cooperation above will be just, and our everyday practices below will be just. Working down to Basic Structure • We use the Fundamental Idea from above of Fair Social Cooperation to see how we might want to introduce normative constraints onto our thinking about the basic structure. Working up to Basic Structure • The Fundamental Ideas brought up from below such as Public Reason and Original Position help us understand how we might make the basic structure just on the basis of our existing everyday beliefs, practices, and conceptions. Rawls‟ Fundamental Ideas Ideal political Social Cooperation constraints of social cooperation, social (Well-Ordered Society + Free & Equal Persons) order, and citizens ??? Everyday beliefs and Public Reason practices as constrained by fair procedure Original Position Reflective Equilibrum Overlapping Consensus Our Judgments, Beliefs, and Practices Rawls‟ Fundamental Ideas Ideal political Social Cooperation constraints of social cooperation, social (Well-Ordered Society + Free & Equal Persons) order, and citizens Basic Structure of Society Everyday beliefs and Public Reason practices as constrained by fair procedure Original Position Reflective Equilibrum Overlapping Consensus Our Judgments, Beliefs, and Practices Rawls‟ Fundamental Ideas Social Cooperation (Well-Ordered Society + Free & Equal Persons) Basic Structure of Society Public Reason Original Position Original Position (OP) • Position in which parties agree or contract to fair terms of social cooperation. • OP specifies a point of view from which fair agreement can be reached. Original Position (OP) • Rather than starting with what divides us… • Let‟s start with what we all have in common and what we would all tend to agree to… • How can we do this? Veil of Ignorance in OP • “The parties are not allowed to know the social positions or the particular comprehensive doctrines of the persons they represent. They also do not know persons‟ race and ethnic group, sex, or various native endowments such as strength and intelligence” (15, §6.2) Veil of Ignorance Social Class Comprehensive Beliefs Gender & Sexuality Race & Ethnicity Political & Economic Structure of Society Conditions of Religious & Philosophical Pluralism Demand for Goods under Conditions of Scarcity General Facts about Human Emotion & Rationality Original Position (OP) • Hypothetical (we won‟t actually do it) • Nonhistorical (it never actually happened) • The Original Position is a thought experiment (“a device of representation”) designed to help us understand how we should model fair terms of agreeing to a social order. Public Reason • Specifies how to go about reasoning about Basic Structure fairly. • Public reason expresses the constraints on reasoning that arise in the Original Position. Public Reason • “…ways of reasoning and inference appropriate to fundamental political questions… beliefs, grounds, and political values it is reasonable for others also to acknowledge” (27, §9.2) Public Reason • Let‟s try to narrow disagreement… • …and start from what we agree on… • …and focus on kinds of reasons we all tend to accept… • …so that we can fairly deliberate about how to organize the Basic Structure of Society. More on Rawls‟s Key Idea: The Basic Structure of Society Rawls‟ Fundamental Ideas Social Cooperation (Well-Ordered Society + Free & Equal Persons) Basic Structure of Society Public Reason Original Position Basic Structure • A unifying idea that helps us see how institutions, material reality, and social custom “fit together into one system of social cooperation” (10). • There is one and only one basic structure for every society. • So, there is (or can be) one and only one theory of justice for every society. When is „Justice‟ relevant? • Where do we locate the basic structure in the ethics and politics of everyday practices like, say, drinking coffee? • Is justice involved in everyday events like drinking coffee? When is „Justice‟ relevant? When is „Justice‟ relevant? Justice between persons • Many political philosophers have theorized „justice‟ as a relation that holds between persons • Justice is a relation between the coffee customer and the café owner. Justice between persons • The relation between customer and café governed by certain basic norms of justice (e.g., a no-harm rule). – Customer can‟t justly steal the coffee… – Owner can‟t justly spill the coffee on the customer… Justice between persons • Justice may also hold between customer and coffee farmers if we can trace harm (e.g., Fair Trade). Justice in Basic Structure • Rawls thought of „justice‟ as a relation that pertains to basic social institutions that affect us all • Justice is a feature of the basic structures of society Justice in Basic Structure • Don‟t think of justice as a one-on-one relation between two people or two groups. • Justice pertains to the basic structures of society that makes things work the way they do. • “It‟s the system, man!” Addendum: Contextualizing Rawls‟s Contributions to Political Philosophy Political Theory 1850-1950 • Liberal Theorists: J.S. Mill, Herbert Spencer, L.T. Hobhouse, Henry Sidgwick • Liberal Economists: Alfred Marshall, J.M. Keynes, Kenneth Arrow • Increasing dominance of economists on practical policy Political Theory 1960-present • Revival of Normative Political Theory (i.e., political philosophies saying how we ought to organize ourselves) • John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Ronald Dworkin, Thomas Nagel, Joshua Cohen, Martha Nussbaum, Amartya Sen Reviving Normative Theory • Concept of „the basic structure of society‟ • Provides a way for thinking about justice in social-institutional terms. Justice used to be thought of as person-to-person relations. Now justice can be theorized as a social project. Reviving Normative Theory • Concept of „the basic structure of society‟ • From near-exclusive concern with utility… • …to a wider theory that strikes a balance between liberties (rights, privacies) in the private sphere and social welfare in the public sphere. Reviving Normative Theory • Concept of „the basic structure of society‟ • The basic structure describes a singular public sphere. • A singular public sphere the proper object of a theory of justice.
Pages to are hidden for
"Rawls_BasicConcepts"Please download to view full document