The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 1, 2007


Speranta Dumitru
Pages 127-135

Equal Minds behind the Veil of Ignorance

Rawls' original position is a thought experiment by which we are asked to imagine ourselves as rational agents choosing the principles of justice under specific informational and motivational constraints. In this paper, I am concerned only with the informational constraints and I shall argue that the way Rawls designed them reveals an implausible conception of mind and knowledge. This conception, of a mind separable from knowledge, as well as one of its correlates which I will call epistemic egalitarianism, is not an objection one may address uniquely to the original position. However, the failure to construct the original position as a one-solution problem renders its epistemology not only implausible but of no use for moral reasoning.