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Rawls Behind the Veil of Ignorance. The Gap of Inequality and the Illusions of Justice

Hrvoje Cvijanović ; Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Fakultet političkih znanosti, Lepušićeva 6, HR–10000 Zagreb

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 282 Kb

str. 481-493

preuzimanja: 24



The author examines the “veil of ignorance” thought experiment and the principles of justice of John Rawls via two main directions of criticism. First, although Rawls constructs a veil of ignorance with Kantian categories, the author derives Rawls’s motivation from the link between justice and the tradition of curbing pleonexic human nature, arguing that in this context Rawls’s Kantian rhetoric is actually driven by the Hobbesian fear of instability arising from the problem of cooperation in the social contract tradition. Second, the veil of ignorance is a cunning instrument of the privileged to preserve their previously acquired advantages, control stability, and cover up socio-political injustices. At the same time, the principle of difference that derives from it does not reduce the gap of inequality – economic and historical – but legitimizes and establishes it. In fact, Rawls’s bourgeois liberalism and its theoretical constructs serve to hedge the well-off by securing and increasing what they already have.

Ključne riječi

veil of ignorance; John Rawls; justice; pleonexia; Hobbesian fear; difference principle; gap of inequality; bourgeois liberalism

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