Some Advantages of One Form of Argument for the Maximin Principle
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- van Roojen, M. Acta Anal (2008) 23: 319. doi:10.1007/s12136-008-0036-y
This paper presents a non-consequentialist defense of Rawls’s general conception of justice requiring that primary social goods be distributed so that the least share is as great as possible. It suggests that a defense of this idea can be offered within a Rossian framework of prima facie duties. The prima facie duty not to harm constrains people from supporting social institutions which do not leave their fellows with goods and resources above a certain threshold. The paper argues that societies in accord with the Rawlsian general conception come closest to meeting this requirement. This way of arguing for the conception enables the defenders of the theory to elude standard objections offered by utilitarians, libertarians, and even other egalitarians.