Essay about The Criticism of Social Contract Theories

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Tatum Schneidmiller Justice Theory Assignment #1 Ward Churchill's criticism of social contract theory clearly applies to classic social contract theories that we discussed. However, Rawls adds the veil of ignorance concept to his more modern social contract theory. A) Explain the basics of Rawls and Churchill's arguments and how they each criticize classic social contract theories. B) Discuss whether or not Churchill's argument applies to Rawls' modification and explain how and why it does and/or does not apply to Rawls' theory. C) What remedies might you deduce from Rawls' theory that would address the injustices toward American Indians? John Rawls, of the most important political philosopher, is primarily known for his theory…show more content…
No one knows how much of their liberty they are giving up in comparison to what other people are giving up in a different area. Rawls says to “select the organizing principles of society as if they did not know what position they would be in within that society” in terms of “class position, generation, goals, life plan” (Jurik 2014). Rawl's theory of a just society is made up of two principles: equal liberty and the difference principle. Equal liberty is where every person has an equal right to a fully adequate scheme of equal basic rights and liberties" (Rawls, 1993, pp. 51). The difference principle is where any inequalities of economic or social nature must be related to positions that are equally available to all, and any inequalities must benefit the least advantaged person (Jurik, 2014). When it comes to criticizing classic social contract theories, Rawl criticizes Bentham’s theory of utilitarianism. It argues for the greatest good for the greatest number of people supposedly but Rawls felt differently. He believed that utilitarianism didn’t account for the differences in people. Rawls countered by proposing liberalism as a political doctrine. It would “assume that it is a characteristic feature of a free democratic culture that a plurality of conflicting and incommensurable conceptions of the good are affirmed by its citizens” (Rawls, 1999, pg.65). Winston Churchill was known for his criticisms that were centered
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