On April sa, the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom will host Hun Chung, Postdoctoral Fellow in Philosophy, Politics and Economics here at the University of Arizona, as part of the Freedom Center Colloquium Series. His talk is entitled "How The Utilitarian Dog Bit The Rawlsian Hand That Fed It." (Abstract below.) Please contact Chris Howard, firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the paper.
Thursday, April 21, 12:30-1:45pm, in the Kendrick Room at the Freedom Center, Marshall 280 (right above Paradise Bakery). Feel free to bring lunch.
For further information, please visit the Arizona Freedom Center at http://freedomcenter.arizona.edu/colloquium
One of John Rawls's major aims, when he wrote A Theory of Justice, was to present a superior alternative to utilitarianism. Rawls's worry was that utilitarianism may fail to protect the fundamental rights and liberties of persons in its attempt to maximize total social welfare. Rawls's main argument against utilitarianism was that, for such reasons, the representative parties in the original position will not choose utilitarianism, but will rather choose his justice as fairness, which he believed would securely protect the worth of everybody's basic rights and liberties. In this paper, I will argue that, under close examination, Rawls's argument against utilitarianism is self-defeating. That is, I will argue that Rawls's own reasons, assumptions as well as the many theoretical devices he employs demonstrably imply that the representative parties in the original position will choose utilitarianism instead of justice as fairness.