Veil of Ignorance in Social Contract Theory

In the highly diverse world in which people have different biases associated with their situations, it is complicated to reach a social contract that would govern the way in which the global society should work. Therefore, John Rawls offered a suggestion of imagining that each person lives behind a ‘veil of ignorance’ that prevents them from knowing who they are and how they can identify with their personal circumstances and characteristics (Miele 5).

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Through being ignorant of one’s circumstances, people can be more effective and objective in considering how societies should interact. The two primary principles support the ‘veil of ignorance’; they include liberty and the difference in directions. The liberty principle implies that the social contract ensures that each person can enjoy maximum freedom without intruding upon the liberty of others. The difference principle is intended to guarantee that every individual has an equal opportunity of prospering.

The fair distribution of wealth as applied to the ‘veil of ignorance’ principle is based on the premise that any social or economic differences in a social contract should help those who are ‘the worst off.’ Any advantages in the social contract should be available to everyone, thus facilitating the equal distribution of wealth across society. Therefore, the ‘veil of ignorance’ makes it easier to approach complex subjects by allowing people to decide pretty on how the rules should be structured.

However, despite the positive intentions behind the ‘veil of ignorance,’ one percent of the wealthiest people on the planet hold the most financial resources on the earth than the rest ninety-nine. Thus, the question one might ask is the following: Regardless of the ethicality behind the ‘veil of ignorance,’ does the principle really work to ensure the fair wealth distribution in the world that is saturated with inequality, poverty, competitiveness, and excessive consumption?

Work Cited

Miele, Alex. “An Explanation of John Rawls’s Theory of Justice with a Defense of the Veil of Ignorance.” CMC Senior Theses, 2017. Web.

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"Veil of Ignorance in Social Contract Theory." StudyCorgi, 30 June 2021,

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StudyCorgi. "Veil of Ignorance in Social Contract Theory." June 30, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Veil of Ignorance in Social Contract Theory." June 30, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Veil of Ignorance in Social Contract Theory'. 30 June.

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