Which one of the following would, if true, most call into question the claim in lines 49-51 of the passage?

Ryan-Mahabir on September 23, 2019

Why is C correct? Why is A incorrect?


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SamA on September 23, 2019

Hello @Ryan-Mahabir,

Here is why A is incorrect. Rawls' theory does not require people to care about the preferences of strangers. In fact, his "veil of ignorance" theory is based completely on self-interest. See lines 39-42: "Under the limits of this ignorance, individuals motivated by self-interest endeavor to arrive at a solution in which they will not lose, because nobody loses." Answer choice A supports the claim that is made on lines 49-51.

Let's look at the cake example to evaluate answer choice C. A child acting like the people in answer choice C would do what? He would cut an enormous piece of the cake, on the off chance he gets it, and is willing to risk getting a small piece. This overturns the "veil of ignorance" theory, and questions the claim on lines 49-51. "Hence, any individual in the original position will agree that everyone should get at least a minimum amount of these primary goods." If C is correct, then this statement is false.

tomgbean on December 18, 2019

Do you mean A does not support the claims on lines 49-51?

shunhe on December 23, 2019


Yes, he is saying that A does not support those claims. Even if people do value their own preferences over those of others, in the original position, they don't know who they will end up being. As a result, because they do not know who "they" are, in order to maximize their own preferences by making sure they have at least a minimum of resources, they should agree with lines 49-51. Hope this helps!