A social contract analysis of Rawls and Rousseau: Supplanting the original position as philosophically most favored

Paul Neiman, Marquette University

Abstract

The ultimate goal of this dissertation is to challenge John Rawls' claim that his original position is philosophically most favored, and to demonstrate that Jean-Jacques Rousseau's social contract theory is better able to meet the criteria for justification that Rawls uses to support his claim. The dissertation thus begins by developing and clarifying the criteria that makes up Rawls' method of justification, with which Rawls justifies the original position and justice as fairness. The next stage is to prepare Rousseau's theory by eliciting the conditions from which his social contract can be deduced. Applying Rawls' method of justification shows that Rousseau's conception of justice surpasses Rawls' original position and justice as fairness in meeting each of the criteria. Thus, Rousseau's social contract theory must supplant Rawls' original position as philosophically most favored.

Recommended Citation

Neiman, Paul, "A social contract analysis of Rawls and Rousseau: Supplanting the original position as philosophically most favored" (2007). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI3275945.
https://epublications.marquette.edu/dissertations/AAI3275945

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