University of Kansas, Spring 2003
Philosophy 555: Justice and Economic Systems

Test Questions—Final Exam

The final exam will be given on Thursday, May 15, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the room where we have class, and will consist of 100 points’ worth of the following questions. This will be an open-book, open-note exam. If you don’t want to take the exam in class, you may turn in typed answers to any of these questions in advance, and when I grade the answers that are written in class, I’ll grade the corresponding answers that you turn in. Answers that you provide to questions that do not end up being on the exam will not increase your grade, nor will the lack of such answers decrease your grade. Note that, whether you answer each of the following questions or not, you must number each of your answers, because when I grade your answers, I’ll be looking for them one by one, as answers to specific questions, rather than reading all of what you turn in from beginning to end. Your answers must be typed and double-spaced, and they must be turned in to me at my office (3070 Wescoe Hall) by the beginning of the exam period (10:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 15). You can slide your work under the door to my office if I’m not there when you come by to turn it in.

Whether you take the exam in class or not, if you want me to mail your exam to you after I grade it, give me an envelope with your address on it. If you don’t turn in an envelope to me, you can pick up your graded exam from me any time until the end of May.

  1. (10 points:) What are the two parts into which Rawls says that any contract theory can be divided? How can a critic reject the first of these, but accept the other, and vice versa?
  2. (10 points:) What is the priority problem, and how does Rawls purport to solve it?
  3. (10 points:) What are the essential elements (the informational constraints and the motivational constraints) of the original position?
  4. (10 points:) What is the basic idea that justifies the dominant protective association in assuming the functions of an ultraminimal state?
  5. (10 points:) What is the basic idea that justifies an ultraminimal state in assuming the functions of a minimal state? (Be sure to mention the principle of compensation in your answer.)
  6. (10 points:) What does Nozick mean when he says, “The particular rights over things fill the space of rights, leaving no room for general rights” (p. 238)?
  7. (10 points:) How do Preservationism and Liberationism differ in regard to (1) the relationship they posit between our Basic Moral Values and our intuitive moral judgments about particular cases and (2) the the substantive moral views they assert?
  8. (10 points:) What is a negative subjective factor? I’m asking for an explanation of the concept, not just an example, although an example might complement your explanation of the concept.)
  9. (10 points:) What is projective separating?
  10. (20 points:) Rawls notes that his theory, like any contract theory, can be criticized either (1) in terms of its conception of the morally significant initial situation or (2) in terms of its derivation of certain principles of justice from such a situation (or both). What disagreement(s) with, or criticism(s) of, either or both of these components of Rawls’s theory can be found in, or inferred from, Nozick’s work?
  11. (20 points:) Nozick’s entitlement theory is, at least apparently, quite different in content from Rawls’s theory of justice as fairness. Is it possible for there to exist in some society, at some point in time, a state of affairs that satisfies both of these conceptions of justice? If so, is it possible for this state of affairs to evolve in such a way as to continue to satisfy both of these conceptions of justice? If so, is it likely that this would ever happen?
  12. (20 points:) Rawls and Unger both describe and employ philosophical methods in which ordinary, common-sense, moral intuitions are taken seriously, but not followed blindly. What are the similarities and differences between Rawls’s use of such intuitions and Unger’s use of such intuitions?
  13. (20 points:) Rawls and Unger both advocate broadly redistributionist theories. What are the similarities and differences between the practical implications (e.g., political implications or policy implications) of Rawls’s theory of justice as fairness and Unger’s theory of Liberationism?
  14. (20 points:) Nozick is, in some ways, less method-conscious than Unger is. Suppose one were to rewrite Anarchy, State, and Utopia using the methodological aspects of Unger's doctrine of Liberationism, but keeping the substance of Nozick’s view (his entitlement theory, etc.) instead of using the substantive aspects of Liberationism. In what way, if any, could Nozick make good use of the methodological aspects of Liberationism?
  15. (20 points:) According to Nozick, if (but not necessarily only if) he is right about the entitlement theory’s being part of morality, then there is a morally permissible way for a condition of anarchy to be transformed into a state. Now suppose Nozick subscribed to Unger’s substantive moral views, instead of the entitlement theory. What changes, if any, would have to be made to his story about how a condition of anarchy could morally permissibly be transformed into a state?