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    Begin by answering the following questions:

  1. What are your group's interests, needs, or desires?
  2. Does your group have its fair share of primary goods: (1) Liberties and Rights, (2) Opportunities and Powers, (3) wealth and income
  3. Are your interests/access to goods being met under the current system of distribution?
  4. If not describe/prescribe a redistribution process to give your group what is "its due."

Exercise b

1. Now, renegotiate this contract under a veil of ignorance. The same classes will emerge in the system of justice you are creating by your contracting: Political leaders (legislators, judges, mayors, etc); Wealthy Individuals; Individuals with High Intelligence; Individuals with Low Intelligence; Poor); Members of Minority Groups; Women; Men. Only now, your task will be to negotiate a procedure of distribution under a veil of ignorance. You will enter into this system and come to occupy one of these roles, but at this point of negotiation, you do not know which of these roles.

2. As in Exercise A, you are negotiating on the basis of Hume’s circumstances of justice:

  • Each group has interests that need to be protected in this process. Different group interests can be reconciled through compromise, integration, or tradeoff.
  • You and everyone else are rationally self-interested. As such you are interested in maximizing for your group Primary Goods such as rights and liberties, opportunities and powers, income and wealth.
  • All negotiating parties are equal. But the roles bracketed by the veil of ignorance are not equal. How would you take this into account in the negotiation?
  • Obviously your position will be constrained by the other parties in the negotiation. But, because of the veil of ignorance, you don’t know how that constraint will take place. What kind of negotiation stance can you take under the veil of ignorance? Again, remember that you want to maximize your acquisition of primary goods (rights and liberties, powers and opportunities, wealth and income). But this maximization cannot be brought about by privileging any of the roles mentioned above. You may be rich but you may be poor; you may be smart but you may be not so smart; you may be a man but you may be a woman. How do you insure maximize access to primary goods under these conditions?
  • This contract is supposedly neutral as to different conceptions of the self, for example, whether the self is essentially or non-essentially related to any community. But it tends in the direction of what MacPherson terms “possessive individualism.” In this case, there is a human nature that is prior to an independent of any relation to other individuals or to a community. Hobbes reduces this human nature to acquisitiveness or unlimited desire. Locke and Rousseau see a “fellow feeling” as balancing or checking acquisitive desire.

3. Negotiate a new procedure for distributing primary goods, risks, and harms under this veil of ignorance. Describe in detail your procedures.

Exercise c

1. Compare the procedure you developed in Exercise A with the pattern based approach of Rawls. Did you come up with something like the Equal Liberties Principle and the Difference Principle? Compare your procedure with Nozick’s Historical Process procedure. Which comes closest to the Hobbesian conception of distributive justice?

2. Compare the procedure you developed in Exercise B with the pattern based approach of Rawls. Did you come up with something like the Equal Liberties Principle and the Difference Principle? Compare your procedure with Nozick’s Historical Process procedure. Is this process compatible with a negotiation under the veil of ignorance? Finally which theory seems most compatible with your negotiation in Exercise B, the pattern based approach or the historical process approach?


  1. M. Nussbaum. (2006). Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, species Membership . Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press. Your first item here
  2. R Nozick. (1974) Anarchy, State, and Utopia , New York: Basic Books, pp. 149-154, 156-157, 159-163, 168, 174-5, 178-179, 182.)
  3. Beauchamp and Bowie. (1988). Ethical Theory and Business, 3rd Ed . Upper Saddle, NJ: McGraw-Hill, pp. 567-570.
  4. J. Rawls (1971). A Theory of Justice . Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, p. 12.
  5. Rousseau, "Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, Part One," in Jean-Jacques Rousseau: The Basic Political Writings . Indianapolis, IN: Hackett (1987): 53.
  6. C. B. MacPherson. (1978). The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism . Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  7. Manuel Velasquez (2006), Business Ethics: Concepts and Cases, 6th edition . Upper Saddle River: NJ: Prentice-Hall, p. 88.
  8. M. Walzer. (1983). Spheres of Justice: A Defense of Pluralism and Equality. United States: Basic Books.
  9. Steven Cahn (editor), Classics of Western Philosophy, 2nd Edition. Indianaplis, IN: Hackett Press (1985): 361 and 368.
  10. T. Hobbes. (1651). Leviathan: Edited with an Introduction by C. B. Macpherson .
  11. M. Sandel. (2009). Justice: What's The Right Thing To Do? . New York: Farrar, Straus and Girous
  12. M. Sandel. (1982, 1988). Liberalism and the Limits of Justice, 2nd Edition . Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press

Questions & Answers

what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
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Source:  OpenStax, Collection of ethics modules for civis. OpenStax CNX. Feb 26, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11493/1.1
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