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n Journal for Juridical Science - The mixed legacy underlying Rawls's

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Abstract

<b>Die gemengde erfenis onderliggend aan Rawls se teorie van geregtigheid</b> <br>Rawls se werk, A <i>theory of justice, &lt;/i&gt; moet verstaan word vanuit die konteks van feitlike benaderings tot die regswetenskap (soos die &lt;i&gt;positivisme&lt;/i&gt; en <i>pragmatisme</i>). Hierdie denkrigtings het alle normatiewe oorwegings ge-elimineer. Rawls daarenteen argumenteer dat rekening gehou moet word met normatiewe regsbeginsels deur uit te gaan van 'n idée wat gedurende die Verligting na vore gekom het, naamlik die sogenoemde sosiale kontrak. Nogtans demonstreer die wyse waarop hy oor <i>reg, moraliteit&lt;/i&gt; en &lt;i&gt;deugde&lt;/i&gt; praat tegelyk sy afhanklikheid antieke Griekse en Middeleeuse opvattinge. Sy aanname is dat dit vir normale mense moontlik is om tot 'n rasionele konsensus te kom deur te aanvaar dat hierdie individue nie alleen oor 'n morele besef beskik nie maar dat hulle ook daartoe in staat is om afstand te neem van hul feitlike sosiale posisie en relasies (die kleed van onwetendheid) sodat hulle ontvanklik kan wees vir morele beginsels wat aanvaarbaar is vir elke ontwikkelde mens. Die artikel begin deur die historiese wortels van die idée van 'n regverdige samelewing te ondersoek deur die kontrastering van die klassieke Griekse en Middeleeuse ideale met moderne benaderinge sedert die Renaissance, in die besonder die verantwoording wat te vinde is in die teorieë oor die veronderstelde sosiale kontrak wat vermeend ten grondslag lê aan 'n geordende en regverdige samelewing. Die onopgesloste probleme van hierdie tradisie, in die besonder rakende die tekortkominge wat aanwesig is beide in atomistiese en holistiese oriëntasies soos ingebed in die hoofstroom sieninge van mens-wees en die plek van die mens in die menslike samelewing en die staat word dan in verband gebring met die gemengde aannames wat onderliggend is aan Rawls se teorie op 'n basiese vlak. Die bedoeling is om te argumenteer dat alhoewel Rawls die &lt;i&gt;intensie&lt;/i&gt; besit om die basiese elemente van 'n konstitusionele demokrasie te propageer, hierdie doelstelling bedreig word deur die latente &lt;i&gt;holistiese&lt;/i&gt; ondertone wat sy ganse teorie vergesel.

The <i>Theory of justice&lt;/i&gt; advanced by Rawls must be understood within the context of factual legal approaches (such as &lt;i&gt;positivism&lt;/i&gt; and <i>pragmatism</i>) that eliminated normative considerations. By contrast, Rawls argues for an account of the role of normative legal principles by proceeding from an idea introduced during the Enlightenment, namely that of a <i>social contract</i>. However, the way in which he speaks about <i>law, morality&lt;/i&gt; and &lt;i&gt;virtues&lt;/i&gt; clearly demonstrates his indebtedness to Ancient Greek and Medieval conceptions as well. His assumption is that it is possible for normal human beings to arrive at a rational consensus by assuming that these individuals not only do have a normative (moral) awareness but that they are also capable to take distance from their factual societal position and relations (the veil of ignorance) in order to be open to moral principles acceptable to every normally developed human being. This article sets out to investigate the historical roots of the idea of a just society by contrasting the classical Greek and Medieval ideals with that of modern approaches since the Renaissance, particularly the account found in natural law theories about the supposed <i>social contract&lt;/i&gt; lying at the foundation of an ordered and just society. The open-ended problems present within this legacy - particularly regarding the inherent shortcomings of both &lt;i&gt;atomistic&lt;/i&gt; and &lt;i&gt;holistic&lt;/i&gt; orientations implicit in the mainstream views on being human and on the place of the latter within human society and the state - are then related to the mixed assumptions underlying Rawls's theory at a basic level. It will be argued that although his &lt;i&gt;intention&lt;/i&gt; is to advocate the basic elements of a constitutional democracy, this aim is threatened by the latent &lt;i&gt;holistic&lt;/i&gt; undertones accompanying his entire theory.

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/content/juridic/31/1/EJC55567
2006-06-01
2016-12-03
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