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How Do You Design a Just Society? | Thought Experiment: The Original Position

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Channel: PBS Idea Channel
Categories: Society / Culture   |   Philosophy   |   Social Science  
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Thought Experiment: John Rawls’ Original Position

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Imagine that, instead of running for president, someone actually ran for Leader of the World. Literally. After their election, they’d oversee the construction of a just and fair society, from the ground up. Let’s imagine that person… is you. ‘YOU 2020!’ I’m so excited. This is gonna be great. You’re gonna do awesome… you’ll need some campaign ads, you should probably go on tour, practice your debate skills… Oh, and you’ll need some policies too. Don’t forget about that. Policies! How does the… world government… function. What are the specific … rules and distributions of power and resources that … policy … Oh boy... How exactly do you design a whole society? There are a lot of possible answers, of course, but today we’re gonna talk about the one suggested by philosopher John Rawls. A thought experiment slash methodology he calls the “Original Position”, found in his book A Theory of Justice. But, is his idea even possible? What would you do? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

This episode co-written by Olly Thorn of Philosophy Tube:

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