How would John Rawls distribute wealth among five people? One among them is a blind person, the second is a poet, the third is politician, the fourth is a playboy with expensive taste, and,...

How would John Rawls distribute wealth among five people? One among them is a blind person, the second is a poet, the third is politician, the fourth is a playboy with expensive taste, and, finally, a writer with humble needs.

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mperez-mugg21 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Rawls would suggest that in order to determine how wealth should be distributed among the five citizens they would need to come to an agreement about how to distribute the wealth. The citizens would make their determinations from the standpoint of what Rawls refers to as the "original position". The idea is that the citizens would determine how to distribute the wealth prior to the formation of their society with limited information about their place in society and the place of others. Rawls calls this limitation on information the "veil of ignorance" and wants to ensure that citizens would make decisions about distribution without knowledge of facts about themselves and others such as race, disability, etc. He suggests that from this standpoint citizens would rationally agree to minimize the difference in the distribution of resources because they could be in the most disadvantaged category. Ultimately, Rawls suggests that from the standpoint of the original position rational individuals would distribute resources equally except in so far as inequalities resulted in higher resource levels for the most disadvantaged citizens.

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A Theory of Justice

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