Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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I 293
Time-Preference/Rationality/Sidgwick/Rawls: Rationality implies that it applies to the entire span of our lives; that something happens sooner or later is no reason to take it into account more or less strongly. However, the immediate present or near future may be a deciding factor in assessing safety or probability and we should consider the effect of our immediate situation.
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Rawls I 294
But none of this justifies a preference of a good because of its temporal positioning. (H. Sidgwick The Methos of Ethics, 7nd ed. London, 1907, p. 381; See also F. P. Ramsey,"A Mathematical Theory of Saving", Economic Journal, vol. 38,1928., reprinted in Arrow and Scitovsky, Readings in Welfare Economics.))
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I 294
Time preference/Generational justice/Rawls: (See Time Preference/Sidgwick, Time Preference/Sen): Sidgwick's thesis: that something happens sooner or later is no reason to take it more or less strongly into account. Sen thesis: The situation is symmetrical: There is no reason for the parties to give special weight to the pure positioning in the course of time.
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I 295
Rawls: rejecting a time preference is not incompatible with considering uncertainties and changing circumstances. Nor does it rule out the possibility of investment funds paying interest for a limited period of time. It is only excluded that in the initial situation of a society to be established, a certain generation is preferred.
Democracy: Question: does this not contradict the principles of democracy, which require that the wishes of the present generation be taken into account? (Cf. A. Sen, "On Optimizing the Rate of Savings", Economic Journal, 71, (1960) p. 482; S. A. Marglin,"The Social Rate of Discount and the Optimal Rate of Investment", Quarterly Journal of Iconomics, vol. 77 (1963), pp. 100-109.))
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I 296
Rawls: that depends on the interpretation. Once the public will has been expressed, it cannot be ignored.
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I 297
For a more general design, however, our principles of justice are decisive.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Rawl I
J. Rawls
A Theory of Justice: Original Edition Oxford 2005


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-04-09
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