Hello everyone. I’ve been working on this paper for a few years now and I could really use some feedback. Here’s a brief abstract:
This paper systematically extends John Rawls’ original position to nonideal theory, showing how it is both reasonable and rational for the parties to a nonideal-theoretic stage of the original position to prioritize a class of “nonideal-theoretic primary goods” over the satisfaction of Rawls’ principles and priority relations (contrary to Rawlsian orthodoxy). I show that there are at least three nonideal-theoretic primary goods, and that the parties to the original position have sufficient reason to agree to certain priority relations among them. Next, I show that the parties rationally ought to agree to a general principle for distributing these goods, and by extension, to three lexically ordered corollary principles for distributing each of the three specific goods discussed. Finally, I argue that these principles fare well in reflective equilibrium.
Many thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to read it. This has been a difficult project, for obvious reasons. Any helpful feedback is graciously appreciated. (Note: to anyone who might have read my earlier paper, “Outline of a Nonideal Theory of Justice” on SSRN, this is a much longer, more involved defense of ideas developed there).
Here’s a link to the paper: foundations.pdf