September 27th, 2008

Memes are for sheep

The Closest Book

nicked from samwinolj

* Grab the nearest book.
* Open the book to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post the text of the next seven sentences in your journal along with these instructions.
* Don't dig for your favourite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

Accordingly, even grossly risk-averse contractors, focusing only on the least advantaged economic class, would be nonetheless anxious to ensure that such people have opportunities to advance by their own effort. "Rather than focusing exclusively on the share of income or wealth they would receive, they would choose a principle of distribution which would ensure that they would each have this opportunity."
Holmgren's claim seems incompatible with Rawls's difference principle if we interpret the principle as Nozick interprets it, as a ground-level prescription for redistribution. In that case, the idea that Jane deserves her salary threatens to override our mandate to lay claim to her salary on behalf of the least advantaged. However, Nozick's way is not the only way to interpret the difference principle. Suppose we interpret the principle not as a mandate for redistribution but rather as a way of evaluating basic structure. That is, we evaluate basic structure by asking whether it works to the benefit of the least advantaged.

(and, no, not all of my graduate school texts are this ... dense)