India Table of Contents Varna, Caste, and Other Divisions Although many other nations are characterized by social inequality, perhaps nowhere else in the world has inequality been so elaborately constructed as in the Indian institution of caste. Caste has long existed in India, but in the modern period it has been severely criticized by both Indian and foreign observers. Although some educated Indians tell non-Indians that caste has been abolished or that "no one pays attention to caste anymore," such statements do not reflect reality. Caste has undergone significant change since independence, but it still involves hundreds of millions of people.
References and Further Reading 1. Although his family was of comfortable means, his youth was twice marked by tragedy. In two successive years, his two younger brothers contracted an infectious disease from him—diphtheria in one case and pneumonia in the other—and died.
His remaining, older brother attended Princeton for undergraduate studies and was a great athlete.
Rawls followed his brother to Princeton. Although Rawls played baseball, he was, in later life at least, excessively modest about his success at that or at any other endeavor.
Rawls continued for his Ph. From them, he learned to avoid entanglement in metaphysical controversies when possible. Turning away from the then-influential program of attempting to analyze the meaning of the moral concepts, he replaced it with what was—for a philosopher—a more practically oriented task: Hart and Isaiah Berlin.
Hart had made progress in legal philosophy by connecting the idea of social practices with the institutions of the law. Compare TJ at 48n. In Isaiah Berlin, Rawls met a brilliant historian of political thought—someone who, by his own account, had been driven away from philosophy by the aridity of mid-century conceptual analysis.
Berlin influentially traced the historical careers of competing, large-scale values, such as liberty which he distinguished as either negative or positive and equality.
Not long after his time in Oxford, Rawls embarked on what was to become a life-long project of finding a coherent and attractive way of combining freedom and equality into one conception of political justice. This project first took the form of a series of widely-discussed articles about justice published between and There he remained, being named a University Professor in Throughout his career, he devoted considerable attention to his teaching.
In his lectures on moral and political philosophy, Rawls focused meticulously on great philosophers of the past—Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Mill, and others—always approaching them deferentially and with an eye to what we could learn from them.
Mentor to countless graduate students over the years, Rawls inspired many who have become influential interpreters of these philosophers.
The initial publication of A Theory of Justice in brought Rawls considerable renown.
A Theory of Justice a. Some social institutions can provoke envy and resentment. Others can foster alienation and exploitation. Is there a way of organizing society that can keep these problems within livable limits? Can society be organized around fair principles of cooperation in a way the people would stably accept?
While fair institutions will influence the life chances of everyone in society, they will leave individuals free to exercise their basic liberties as they see fit within this fair set of rules.
Utilitarianism comes in various forms. The utilitarian idea, as Rawls confronts it, is that society is to be arranged so as to maximize the total or average aggregate utility or expected well-being. In addition to developing that constructive alternative, however, Rawls also offered some highly influential criticisms of utilitarianism.
His critique of average utilitarianism will be described below. The Original Position Recognizing that social institutions distort our views by sometimes generating envy, resentment, alienation, or false consciousness and bias matters in their own favor by indoctrinating and habituating those who grow up under themRawls saw the need for a justificatory device that would give us critical distance from them.
The OP is a thought experiment that asks: The Conditions and Purpose of the Original Position The OP, as Rawls designs it, self-consciously builds on the long social-contract tradition in Western political philosophy. While Rawls is most emphatic about this in his later work, for example, PL at 75, it is clear already in TJ.
He insists there that it is up to the theorist to construct the social-contract thought-experiment in the way that makes the most sense given its task of helping us select principles of justice. The idea is to help justify a set of principles of social justice by showing that they would be selected in the OP.
The OP is accordingly set up to build in the moral conditions deemed necessary for the resulting choice to be fair and to insulate the results from the influence of the extant social order. The veil of ignorance plays a crucial role in this set-up.
TJ at It would be too fanciful to think of the parties to the OP as having the capacity to invent principles. The point of the thought experiment, rather, is to see which principles would be chosen in a fair set-up.
To use the OP this way, we must offer the parties a menu of principles to choose from. Rawls offers them various principles to consider.Technology society and life or technology and culture refers to cyclical co-dependence, co-influence, and co-production of technology and society upon the other (technology upon culture, and vice versa).
This synergistic relationship occurred from the dawn of humankind, with the invention of simple tools and continues into modern technologies . The Second Edition of Computerization and Controversy: Value Conflicts and Social Choices is a collection of 78 articles that examine the social aspects of computerization from a variety of perspectives, many presenting important viewpoints not often discussed in the conventional literature.
A number of paired articles comprise thought-provoking head-on debate. Footnotes.
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