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21. Equality

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Published on Apr 5, 2012

Philosophy and the Science of Human Nature (PHIL 181)

The discussion of the legitimacy of government is continued with an introduction to a major 20th century work of political philosophy, John Rawls' A Theory of Justice. Professor Gendler explores John Rawls' central claims: that "justice is the first virtue of social institutions," and that the just society is that which rational and self-interested individuals would choose for themselves from behind a "veil of ignorance" (that is, not knowing what role in society they would occupy). The lecture concludes with an exploration of two substantive principles of justice which Rawls derives from his framework: the equal liberty principle, and the difference principle.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Justice as the First Virtue of Social Institutions
11:33 - Chapter 2. Rawls on Justice
28:09 - Chapter 3. Testing Rawls in the Classroom

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://oyc.yale.edu

This course was recorded in Spring 2011.

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