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Polygence Scholar2022
Lale Goncuoglu's profile

Lale Goncuoglu

Tenzile Erdogan Kiz Anadolu Imam Hatip LisesiClass of 2021Istanbul, Beykoz


Hello! I'm Lale, and my Polygence project is on John Rawls's Theory of Justice and utopian thinking. I chose to work on this project because I've always been interested in politics, especially how moral questions and dilemmas shape and lead political agents and actors. After completing my project, I would like to continue my studies in ethics and further explore other aspects of Rawls's theory.


  • "In Search of the Just: Reflections on John Rawls’s Ideal Theory" with mentor Will (Working project)

Project Portfolio

In Search of the Just: Reflections on John Rawls’s Ideal Theory

Started May 11, 2022

Abstract or project description

In A Theory of Justice, Rawls presented a picture of what he envisioned as just society that runs under favorable conditions that presume principles of justice, which were adopted under the veil of ignorance. The true principles of justice will be established in this respect since the veil of ignorance ensures that no one is disadvantaged or benefited by any factor, including contingencies, natural chance, or social circumstances. Rawls’s ideal theory has been challenged, particularly by realists, for a lack of contact with reality and recognition of the true character of humanity. Thus, the realists argue, the ideal theory does not apply to real-world environment, people, and institutions. In this paper, I will define the ideal theory, following Rawls, as a just society that occurs in a realistic utopia after all non-ideal factors have vanished. I will argue for the necessity of ideal theory on the grounds that it allows us to identify both humankind's limitations and potential while also serving as a guide to establishing a just society for which we must strive. I will also argue that ideal theory does not give the possibility of becoming completely detached from reality, forming a utopia, and creating an unreachable form of society. Instead, it depicts a realistic utopia by combining realist and utopian features. Finally, I will demonstrate that elements of Rawls's ideal theory combine to form a realistic utopia that is both imaginable and achievable in the form of an exemplary just society. I shall follow most of Rawls’s method, however I will diverge from it on the veil of ignorance, original position and Rawls’s rejection of moral notions and dilemmas. As I will mostly address to realism criticism, I will also offer some changes and expand Cohen’s argument for the importance of including ethics in the theory.