difference principle

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distributive justice

Overview page. Subjects: Social Sciences.

Distributive justice is concerned with how goods, honors, and obligations are distributed within a community. Distributive claims can be (and have been) justified on the basis of need,...

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John Rawls

Overview page. Subjects: Philosophy — Social Sciences.


American moral and political philosopher. Born in Baltimore, Rawls was educated at Princeton. After teaching at Princeton, Cornell, and MIT, he joined Harvard in 1962....

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Overview page. Subjects: Economics — Psychology.

In decision theory and game theory, an alternative or strategy (2) that ensures the best of the worst possible payoffs, thereby maximizing the minimum possible payoff. Thus if there are...

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maximin and minimax

Overview page. Subjects: Philosophy.

Game-and decision-theoretical strategies which require one to make one's worst possible outcome as good as possible (that is, to maximize the minimum). Maximin grounds Rawls's ‘difference...

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maximin principle

Overview page. Subjects: Philosophy.

A principle of decision theory, that counsels that at least in some circumstance, the right decision is that which maximizes the minimum outcome: i.e., that which makes the worst outcome as...

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original position

Overview page. Subjects: Philosophy.

The position defined for the consideration of justice in Rawls's A Theory of Justice (1971). In Rawls's contractarian theory, a social structure is just only if it could have been...

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veil of ignorance

Overview page. Subjects: Medicine and Health.

A hypothetical state, advanced by the US political philosopher John Rawls, in which decisions about social justice and the allocation of resources would be made fairly, as if by a person...

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