Cohen on Constructivism (Chapter 7)

by Jon Mandle on April 25, 2009

Continuing the discussion of G. A. Cohen’s Rescuing Justice and Equality – sorry about the delay – chapter 7 is on “Constructivism.” Cohen argues against the view that fundamental principles of social justice can be identified by considering a selection procedure that addresses the question, “What rules of governance are to be adopted for our common social life?” (p.275) The selection of principles from the original position is his primary target, although the specific features of that choice situation are not at issue. The main objection that he presses is familiar from chapter 6: constructivism mistakenly identifies the principles of justice with all things considered judgment concerning rules of social regulation. This must be a mistake, for Cohen, because the all things considered perspective encompasses considerations other than justice (including other virtues), and asks how best, given certain circumstances, to achieve the optimal balance of these various considerations.
[click to continue…]

Quiet around here

by John Holbo on April 25, 2009

You’ve met The Girls From Planet 5. Now meet … [click to continue…]