Rawls Response

Rawls thinks that rational people will choose his two principles of justice when they go behind the veil of ignorance in the original position based on a rule for decision-making under uncertainty: maximin. Maximin tells us to choose the best worst option, or to maximize the minimization of losses. Rawls tells us to follow maximin due to certain features of the original position. First, outcomes are uncertain, meaning we cannot know the probability of every possible outcome. In other words, we cannot use expected utility theory as our rule for decision-making. Second, the benefits over and above the minimum are not that great—the minimum is sufficient for a good life. Third, the stakes are too high in the original position. We cannot afford to risk being the worst off in a society that does not have Rawls’ difference principle. Do you think that maximin gives us good reasons to choose Rawls’ two principles of justice compared to the other theories of justice Chapter 3 covers? Would the U.S. would be more just if we followed the difference principle?