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  • (intro music)

  • Hello, my name is Luvell Anderson,

  • and I am an assistant[br]professor of philosophy

  • at the University of Memphis.

  • Today, I'm going to talk a little about

  • an idea called "The Original Position."

  • How would you set up a[br]society that is just?

  • Justice is an important idea we use

  • to evaluate our social and[br]political institutions.

  • Things like our courts, government,

  • educational, and economic systems.

  • As we can see from the strong reactions

  • of those who feel like they[br]have been treated unjustly,

  • having just social and[br]political institutions

  • is essential for having[br]a peaceful society.

  • For example, African Americans[br]have held marches,

  • endured fire hoses and death,[br]throughout various periods

  • in U.S. history in the name of justice.

  • Also, Tibetan monks have[br]set themselves on fire

  • in protest of what they view as unjust

  • or oppressive Chinese policies.

  • So as we can see, justice[br]is an important idea.

  • Before we discuss possible ways[br]of creating a just society,

  • we should first have an[br]idea about what it means

  • for a society to be just.

  • Discussions about the concept of justice

  • go back a long time.

  • The ancient Greek philosopher[br]Plato, for example,

  • described justice as an[br]internal harmony, that is,

  • the parts of some thing, say[br]an individual or a society,

  • being ordered in the right way.

  • For others, justice is importantly tied

  • to notions like equality.

  • For example, Aristotle says[br]that justice is the equal.

  • And others have tied justice[br]to the idea of dessert,

  • or what someone deserves.

  • The notion of justice[br]that we will focus on

  • thinks of justice in terms of fairness.

  • The famous political[br]philosopher John Rawls

  • came up with a way of[br]developing principles of justice

  • that distributes benefits and burdens

  • associated with our social[br]and political practices

  • in a way that is fair to all parties.

  • Rawls introduces a thought experiment.

  • A thought experiment is a device

  • that engages our imagination to help us

  • think about the nature of things.

  • So in this thought experiment,

  • Rawls imagines free,[br]mutually disinterested,

  • and rational persons who sit down

  • and devise principles of justice

  • in an initial situation that[br]is structured to be fair

  • to all the parties involved.

  • He calls this initial situation

  • "The Original Position."

  • Now, what makes the situation fair

  • has to do with the kind of considerations

  • the representatives in[br]this original position

  • can bring to bear when reasoning about

  • the principles of justice.

  • For instance, no one can[br]tailor principles selfishly

  • to favor her particular condition.

  • Also, Rawls does not allow things like

  • natural fortune or social circumstances

  • to be acceptable bases for advantaging

  • or disadvantaging persons.

  • A unique feature of[br]Rawls' original position

  • is what we might refer to[br]as the epistemic constraints

  • on the persons in the situation.

  • The word "epistemic" here simply refers

  • to the kinds of things a person can know.

  • In the original position, the persons,

  • or let's call them "agents,"

  • they know nothing about themselves

  • or their position in society.

  • They do not know their race, age, gender,

  • their strength,[br]intelligence or psychology,

  • talents, handicaps, or social standing.

  • Nor do they know theirs views about

  • what they find valuable[br]or important in life.

  • Rawls refers to this condition as being

  • under the veil of ignorance.

  • Of course, agents in the original position

  • aren't completely without knowledge.

  • They know the kinds of[br]facts that are given to us

  • by natural sciences like biology,

  • and social sciences like psychology.

  • Rawls believes that the[br]principles of justice

  • the agents construct in[br]the original position,

  • under the veil of ignorance,[br]will be fair simply

  • because the situation[br]itself is set up fairly.

  • Now I mentioned earlier that the agents

  • in the original position[br]are mutually disinterested

  • and rational.

  • I should probably take a[br]moment to say a little more

  • about what that means.

  • The agents are mutually disinterested

  • in that they are only concerned

  • to advance their own interests.

  • Agents in the original[br]position will not be moved

  • to sacrifice their own interests

  • for the sake of advantaging someone else,

  • nor will they try to disadvantage others

  • due to envy or hatred.

  • And the agents' decisions[br]in the original position

  • are rational, in that they[br]use the most effective means

  • to achieve their goals.

  • To wrap up:

  • the original position is a fair situation

  • where agents who know nothing[br]in particular about themselves,

  • but know only general facts, agree upon

  • principles of justice[br]that we use to decide

  • how to set up a just society.

  • Subtitles by the Amara.org community

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B1 中級

哲学原位置 (Philosophy: Original Position)

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    RAYRAY に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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