Dictionary of Arguments

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Author Item Summary Meta data
I 168
Risks/Rawls: In the initial situation of a society to be established, when members find themselves behind a veil of ignorance about their future position, it is first of all that everyone has information about their own abilities. It is therefore unlikely that everyone will have the same chances of finding out who they are later on. In any case, a newcomer has knowledge of his or her abilities and bases his or her risk assessments on this knowledge.
But at the last stage of the initial situation, however, there is complete ignorance of contingent facts, the construction of individual expectations is based solely on the principle of inadequate reason (principle of insufficient reason). This principle is used to assess probabilities in the absence of any information.
Definition principle of insufficient reason: under the condition of lack of any information, all possible results are equally likely.
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I 169
Initial situation/Rawls: then we can link different types of information within a strictly probabilistic framework and draw conclusions about probabilities without further knowledge. (See W. Feller, Probability and Profit, pp. 27f).
Vs Principle of insufficient reason: see J. M. Keynes, A Treatise on Probability, London, 1921, ch. IV.
Solution/Carnap: an alternative system of inductive logic with other theoretical means than those of the classical principle: R. Carnap, Logical Foundations of Probability, 2nd. Ed. Chicago, 1962.
Principle of insufficient reason/Rawls: excludes that initial opportunities are ignored.
Solution/Rawls: in the initial situation we have the possibility to accept the two principles of justice according to the theory of justice as fairness, then the imponderables can be circumvented: Cf.
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I 61
Principles/justice/Rawls: provisional wording:
1. every person must have the same right to the widest possible fundamental freedom, insofar as it is compatible with the same freedom for others.
2. social and economic inequalities shall be arranged in such a way that they
(a) are reasonably expectable for everyone's benefit; and
(b) are linked to positions and administrative procedures that can be held by anyone.
This guarantees fundamental freedoms.


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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 2019-05-20
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