Rand and Rawls

Ayn Rand was fiercely critical of academic philosophers, especially John Rawls…” And we’ve largely reciprocated.

I’m commenting on John Rawls and his theory of justice at next week’s Tennessee Philosophical Association meeting in Nashville. A good opportunity to reconsider my critical stance on “Mrs. Logic,” too.

The juxtaposition of these two raises the issue of cosmopolitanism: being a citizen of the world (and ultimately the cosmos, on Carl Sagan Day) — not just of your neighborhood, community, tribe, nation, or gender, ethnicity, race, religion et al. It’s about transcending those particular personal markers without denying their importance in creating your identity. Maybe that’s what Rawls was really after, with his “original position” and “veil of ignorance.”

Justice as fairness trips off the tongue more smoothly than justice as cosmopolitanism, but there it is.

A re-restatement may be in order.

 

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