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A well-ordered society with publicly acknowledged principles - a re-interpretation of Rawlsian social contract

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John Rawls is arguably the most influential political philosopher of the twentieth century. In his most seminal books, A Theory of Justice (1971), Rawls claims that his aim is to ‘present a conception of justice which generalizes and carries to a higher level of abstraction the familiar theory of the social contract as found, say, in Locke, Rousseau, and Kant.’ However, what role does the idea of social contract play in Rawls’ theory is rarely discussed among Rawls scholars. Some scholars contend that Rawlsian social contract is a kind of hypothetical contract which people would make behind the ‘veil of ignorance,’ and this idea is redundant in Rawls’ theory. In this poster, I would like to argue that Rawlsian social contract should rather be understood as a social agreement on political principles which people would make in a well-ordered society. The idea of social contract is necessary because it represents a political ideal in Rawls’ mind.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/28076/1/wongb_Submit_your_poster_here__PhD_Poster_exhibition_2010_ver.2_.pdf

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