Discussion Questions on Part II of Rawls

1. How does Rawls define fair equality of opportunity? In what ways is it a radical proposal? In what ways would committed egalitarians find it too weak?

2. On page 50 Rawls distinguishes between allocative justice and distributive justice, and he goes on to argue that in his view allocation should be a matter of pure procedural justice. What does he mean?

3. What are primary goods? How can we tell whether something is a primary good? What role do primary goods play in Rawls' theory?

4. Consider the following three claims concerning desert.

A. According to Luther, no one can deserve salvation.
B. Mary has gotten an A on every assignment this semester, so of course she deserves an A.
C. What a shame that George slipped just as he reached the finish line. He deserved to win.

What does "deserve" mean in each of these claims? Which, if any, of these notions of desert plays a role in Rawls' theory of justice?