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The Original Position
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Book description

At the centre of John Rawls's political philosophy is one of the most influential thought experiments of the twentieth century: which principles of justice would a group of individuals choose to regulate their society if they were deprived of any information about themselves that might bias their choice? In this collection of new essays, leading political philosophers examine the ramifications and continued relevance of Rawls's idea. Their chapters explore topics including the place of the original position in rational choice theory, the similarities between Rawls's original position and Kant's categorical imperative, the differences between Rawls's model and Scanlon's contractualism, and the role of the original position in the argument between Rawls and other views in political philosophy, including utilitarianism, feminism, and radicalism. This accessible volume will be a valuable resource for undergraduates, as well as advanced students and scholars of philosophy, game theory, economics, and the social and political sciences.


'… this is an impressive collection of essays on one of the most influential ideas in modern moral and political philosophy … Taken together, these twelve discussions are about as comprehensive and relevant as any volume on the original position of this length could be.'

Samuel Freeman - University of Pennsylvania

'Although the original position argument became famous over forty years ago, it's testimony to John Rawls's immense creativity is that an accurate assessment of its strengths and weaknesses is still emerging. Tim Hinton's collection of lucid and thought-provoking essays will play an invaluable role in this welcome process, and also casts new light on work by several of the leading philosophers who have engaged with the argument, including G. A. Cohen, Ronald Dworkin, and T. M. Scanlon. The volume could be read with profit by specialists and students alike.'

Andrew Williams - Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies and Universitat Pompeu Fabra

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

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