Rawls Redux

Here I wondered about Rawls's use of maximin reasoning: why, despite not knowing my own preferences, wouldn't I just do expected utility maximization?

Guided by David Gordon, Kevin Vallier, and Danny Shahar, I have discovered that Rawls's protects himself against my objection. But after reading section 26 of A Theory of Justice, I am perhaps even more perplexed: it seems to me that the way Rawls's fends off this criticism is that he denies the agents choosing behind the veil of ignorance any knowledge of possible political regimes.

So Rawls has set things up this way. You are an eating contest. He says to you, "How would you like to choose your meal?"

You respond, "Hmm, I can't remember what I like to eat..."

He says, "That's right: we wiped out your memory of your tastes on the way in."

"Hmm... OK, then, what can you tell me about what is available?"

"Absolutely nothing."

Yes, I suppose at that point you might say, "OK, please, just let's not have it be something really disgusting!"


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