CRITICAL REMARKS ON RAWLS THEORY OF THE PERSON
IMMO OMNES NIHIL ALIUD QUAM VOLUNTARES SUNT
KONSTANTINOS GEORMAS, 1994
In this paper I will try to outline the theory of the person underlying Rawls theory of justice. Following Sandel, I will try to show that a) the plurality of the persons is saved only on the expense of the annihilation of the person. Thus, in a peculiar way the deontological justice ends up with a rather totalitarian perspective of the person. b) Secondly, I would like to show that his theory implies a completely western approach of the person based on the person’s power capacity and not in his shareness. c) And thirdly I want to discuss the notion of freedom and autonomy in the same context.
JUSTICE OF THE ANCIENTS
In the next chapter I will follow Papaioannou’s analysis of the ancient Greek perception of justice, in order to show the similarities and at the same time the huge distance that distinguishes this with Rawls account.
We can say that the ancient Greeks had a kind of “original position”. Justice was positioned in the center of cosmos as the power which managed it and toward which everything had to be submitted, with the same way that the polis had to subordinate itself under the law. It is justice which as guard of the eternal laws put limits even to the sun itself. Its work is divine. It is only within its limits that every act, nature, every existence finds its Logos, its logic, the meaning of its existence. Beyond its limits disaster is lurking. The knowledge of these limits was a painful and tantalizing process. It is through this tantalizing process, though, that human beings could reach wisdom. It is the knowledge of the limits that make persons free, for in this way they can harmonize with the eternal laws of cosmos.