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Sample Essay on Original Position

Original Position

The Original Position is a hypothetical situation that was developed by John Rawls, an American philosopher as a thought experiment applied in replacement of the imagery of a savage state of nature of prior political philosophers like Thomas Hobbes. In this situation, the parties select principles that will determine the basic structure of the society they will live in. This choice is made from behind a curtain of ignorance, which would deprive participants of information about their particular characteristics; a person’s ethnicity, social status, gender and, most important, Conception of the Good (an individual’s idea of how to lead a good life) This places the participants under the limitation to select principles impartially and rationally.

Basically, the idea of the original position goes to back to political philosophers who posited an original state of nature, where humans came together and made a social contract for their benefit. Instead of supposing this to be a historical situation, Rawls makes it a thought experiment. He asks us to suppose that each one of us had no idea who we are, where we are from, our placement in society, what class we belong to, how much money we have, what race or culture we come from, what religion we believe in, what code of ethics we follow, ho we want to live our life among other things. He asks us to pretend that we had none of that.

Image 2With regards to a source experiment, the original position is a hypothetical position that is designed to accurately reflect the kind of principles of justice that would be manifested in a society premised on free and fair cooperation between citizens, including respect for liberty, and an interest in reciprocity.

In the state of nature, it can be argued that the strong and talented type of persons would be able to push the weak and disabled by virtue of the fact that the stronger and more talented would cope better in the state of nature. This form of coercion is sometimes thought to validate any contractual arrangement that occurs in the state of nature. In this hypothetical position, however, representatives of citizens are placed in vacuum, whereby they are deprived of information about the individuating traits of the citizens that they represent.

Now if supposedly, a bunch of people who are exactly the same as in the respect illustrated above were coming together to figure out the principles to base society on, would there be anything substantial to be expected? This is what the original position is all about, a position of ‘’blind justice’’, where there is no bias towards one’s station in life. According to most people, blind justice is the best form of justice. Thus, the principles that the individuals in this position would agree upon are the principles of justice. However, it should be noted that even in such a society, there are people who will have to reject the idea of original position, or the principles that would be agreed to.

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