1) Explain Rawls's argument for the difference principle from the original position The differences in the political philosophies of John Rawls and Robert Nozick mostly relate to variance in their initial assumptions and system of argument. According to the different principle, it allows inequalities in the distribution of goods subject to those inequalities stand to the advantage of the worst-off members of the society. He is convinced about the rationality of this principle and tenders the following reasons for his stand: The right of each citizen on the total goods available with the society is equal. This goes to prove that he must have equal share in the material wealth of the society. What is the justification for unequal distribution? His argument is simple and straightforward. If the distribution system works to the advantage of the worst-off section of the society, that arrangement is fair enough. Rawls explains his strategy of setting up the original position through risk-minimisation. Elaborating this Dr. Jan Garrette argues, “The Difference Principle has elements of other familiar ethical theories. The "socialist" idea (see Distributive Justice) that responsibilities or burdens should be distributed according to ability and benefits according to need is partly contained within the Difference Principle. We may reasonably assume that the "least advantaged" have the greatest needs and that those who receive special powers (hinted at under "social inequalities") also have special responsibilities or burdens. However, the merit principle that the use of special skills should be rewarded is also included in the Difference Principle.”(www.wku.edu/)Does this stand to reasoning? With the acceptance of the different principle, one visualises a situation where all suffer, in varied degrees except the one at the top. Risk-minimisation propounded as per the different principle will not hold good in all the situations. It may even lead to ridiculous conclusions. (2) Explain Nozick's 'Wilt Chamberlain' argument In his book “Anarchy, State, and Utopia,” Robert Nozick argues, “Moral philosophy sets the background for, and boundaries of, political philosophy. What persons may and may not do to one another limits what they may do through the apparatus of a state, or do to establish such an apparatus.”(6)Wilt Chamberlin is a popular basketball player and the society adores him so much that 1 million people are ready to give him 25 cents each to watch him play basketball during the course of the entire season, assuming g that he will not entertain any other transactions. On the strength of this example, Nozick develops an argument. He writes, “Nozick's famous Wilt Chamberlain argument is an attempt to show that patterned principles of just distribution are incompatible with liberty. He asks us to assume that the original distribution in society, D1 is ordered by our choice of patterned principle, for instance Rawls's Difference Principle.” (seattlecentral.edu) Through this deal, Wilt will now own $250,000 and overnight he has a big sum as compared to any other member of the society. He further elaborates this example and comes to the conclusion
Subject: Philosophy Date: April 8, 2012 Topic: Essay Introduction Rawls’s argument for the different principle from the original position and Nozick’s ‘Wilt Chamberlain argument seem to differ from the logical stand point but taking into consideration the grassroots realities prevailing in the society and the requirement of remedial measures, the difference amongst the two philosophers is marginal and one related to the approach…
He observed an individual would acquire justice when he or she receives the above liberties and basic rights. The second category of Rawl’s primary goods is the Non-basic right (Sen, 1979:12). These rights occur in society by virtue that they relate to certain political inclination.
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2 pages (500 words)Essay
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