In his 2018 book, The Community of Advantage, economist Robert Sugden sets out his Principle of Mutual Benefit. This paper investigates the role that Sugden's principle occupies in Rawls' Political Liberalism. Would it be chosen by contracting parties in the Original Position and with what implications? We firstly show the potential complementarities of Rawls' and Sugden's approaches, integrating them in a broad philosophical framework. Second, we describe three scenarios in which Sugden's principle could be integrated into Rawls's system- (1) as a second order principle of the Difference Principle, (2) as a replacement of the whole Second Principle, or (3) as a substitute for the Difference Principle. We test each hypothesis through Rawls's artificial device of the Original Position. We suggest that the Principle of Mutual Benefit can be understood as a substitute for the Difference Principle, reaffirming the importance of social justice in guaranteeing the stability of a market society.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Review of Political Economy|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 4 Aug 2021|
- Principle of mutual benefit
- political liberalism
- second principle