The Veil of Ignorance, Crises and Emergencies
Thomas Pogge (Yale)
Jorge E. Núñez (Manchester)
XXX World Congress of the International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (IVR)
Bucharest, Romania| 03 – 08 July 2022
Rawls constructs the original position to reflect what it is thought to be morally relevant and morally right. As part of this original position, A Theory of Justice characterizes of the veil of ignorance in order to avoid any possible interference from factors that can cause bias when applying procedural justice. Rawls explains the rationale: “This ensures that no one is advantaged or disadvantaged in the choice of principles by the outcome of natural chance or the contingency of social circumstances.” (TJ 11)
Our special workshop will be in effect an exercise of ideal theory by application of the veil of ignorance to crises and emergencies broadly defined. In other words, our special workshop aims to discuss if and how ideal theory may help define global justice in specific thematic areas. More precisely, in Rawls, the parties are representatives of citizens who care only about “their” client (though they do not know who this is). They are rational, not selfless or reasonable. In his own words, they “do not seek to confer benefits or to impose injuries on one another; they are not moved by affection or rancor. Nor do they try to gain relative to each other; they are not envious or vain… parties are not concerned to win but to get as many points as possible judged by their own system of ends” (TJ 125).
Consequently, we assume all the participants in our special workshop are rational beings aiming to apply the veil of ignorance so characterized and, therefore, invite submissions that explore (i) how a society disposes itself to respond to crises and emergencies or (ii) to its actual response to some particular crisis or emergency such as poverty, climate change, territorial disputes, terrorism and inequalities. We too welcome submissions that challenge our approach; i.e. whether such extension of Rawls is fruitful, legitimate or even Rawlsian.
Note: Open to all participants. The abstracts and brief academic biography should be submitted by no later than Friday 27th May 2022.
Language: The abstracts must be written in English, and they should be under 500 words. The sessions will be held in English.