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09/07/2018

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Aaron Lercher

For which truths is truth-telling required by justice?

If they are the general, widely accepted, and verified truths of human psychology and behavior which Rawls allows the parties behind the veil to draw on, that's not too onerous. It helps us keep our focus on human beings, not angels or demons. This is a non-idealized aspect of Rawls's theory, which I think can and should be expanded further than Rawls said.

But if too many truths are added beyond this class, then the burdens of truth-telling increase. This threatens the political character of justice, if there is a correct metaphysics or ethical theory, and if citizens are required to tell the truth about it. But perhaps Plato's guardians can be assumed to have this all worked out so there won't be any disagreements among them.

More down to earth, some secrecy seems to be necessary for negotiations to work. Truth-telling requirements appear to conflict with this.

Eric Schliesser

Aaron, thank you. Yes, you nicely capture some reasons why one may be skeptical of the idea that always truth-telling is a part of justice.

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