Decisions Behind the Veil

Justin P. Bruner

in Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy, Volume 2

Published in print March 2018 | ISBN: 9780198815259
Published online May 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780191853012 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy

Decisions Behind the Veil

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This chapter explores the behavior of individuals placed in circumstances approximating the ‘veil of ignorance.’ Unlike previous experiments of Rawls’ veil, it considers Rawls’ fair equality of opportunity principle in addition to the so-called difference principle. The chapter author’s experimental design can register whether behavior is consistent with a lexicographic ranking of principles of justice. The chapter observes wide support for utilitarianism as well as fair equality of opportunity and, moreover, finds the former is lexically prior to the latter.

Keywords: distributive justice; veil of ignorance; equality of opportunity; utilitarianism; lexicographic ordering; experimental economics

Chapter.  4756 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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