The Social Unit 8: The Veil of Ignorance

In the original position behind a veil of ignorance, one is asked to imagine what kind of distribution schemes one would agree to not knowing one’s place in society ahead of time. I imagine pie charts of various sizes sliced in different ways floating by me. Maybe we can even add Nozick’s games and their rules into the mix. If we are not overwhelmed, we chose and are suddenly given a slice of pie or a starting position in a game. If I ever complain, I am reminded but this is what you chose and this is supposed to satisfy me. But does it really? Think how many things you have chosen that after the fact you regret having chosen it, or at least wonder about alternatives. (Is anyone completely free of regret?) as important as having chosen initially a distributive scheme we must keep choosing it. The preference has to be stable. Rawl’s original position tells us a lot about what societies we would enter into, not as much about societies we would continue to live in.

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