AlliedAmerican University



1.What is the role of the `veil of ignorance` in Rawls`s theory?

The‘veil of ignorance’ as described by Rawls in his quest for ethicsposits that, we would come up with an ethical system for a givensociety if only we know nothing about our circumstances in such asociety. The ‘veil of ignorance’ therefore acts as the basicprinciple under which we would consider the ethical rules for acertain society (Noddings, 2013). If we knew how we would fit in sucha society, we would manipulate the ethical system in a manner thatsuits our existence in this society. Therefore this veil is meant toavoid biased form of ethical system for a given society. Rawls usesthe veil of ignorance in explaining the social contract ethics. Inessence, social contract ethics can only be achieved if the peoplesetting the standards for ethics are unaware of how they would fairor the circumstances they would thrive in a given society.Ultimately, the veil avoids ignorance in Rawls view of socialcontract ethics is based on assumption that, ethics can only exist ifwere ignore any possible bias.

2.Define constructivism

Constructivismis an ethical approach in which the perception that ethicalprinciples are made and not found. Constructivists believe that astatement is considered ethical when it is endorsed by a given group,or when acknowledged and affirmed from a certain perspective.

3.What is the `prisoner`s dilemma’?

Theprisoner’s dilemma is a formal synopsis model of relationshipbetween two parties who must choose whether to collaborate or cheatone another. Characters may choose their behaviors rationally inaccordance to their self interest making everyone else suffer orworse than they could have been if they never chose this self-focusedbehavior. This game is employed to understand the aspects of failuresof cooperation like arms races and ethnic conflict and to prescribecertain solutions meant to elicit corporation. The main concept ofthe game is that, when the game is played only once, regardless ofwhat the other player does i.e. cheat or cooperate, one is better offtrying to take advantage of the other player. By the end of the day,all players exploit each other rather than collaborating and they areall worse off than they would be would someone else had forced themto cooperate.

4.In what ways does Gauthier`s contract approach differ from that ofRawls? In what ways are they similar? Explain.

Rawlsand David Gauthier have both made significant contributions to socialcontract ethics. However, their approaches are opposing. WhereasRawls focus on the ‘veil of ignorance’ in order to avoid bias,Gauthier insists that, there is no justification in stripping peopleof their biases and desires (veil of ignorance) in order to come upwith a basic moral systems or rules. According to Gauthier, we candepend on personal rational self interest as a justification for abasic set of ethics. Gauthier refers to his approach as ‘moral byagreement’ in what was inspired by the prisoner’s quandary.

Thetwo approaches are similar in that they explain social contractethics. In addition, they are focused on the aspect of bias as a keyconsideration in defining ethical system of a given society. Eventhough they are not on the same tune on the bias issue in ethics,they are concerned on individual perspective of ethics.

5.Define care ethics.

Careethics refers to ethical system that focus on the value of promotingrelationships with much emphasis being placed on individual detailsas to abstract principles, and appreciating the ethical significanceof affection and care for other people. Care ethics is a denial ofthe fundamental of reason in all ethical decision making. Even thoughreason principles and rules may be considered in care ethics,sympathy is the basic moral principle, not law-perceptive orconsequence calculating thinking. In general care ethics emphasize onthe importance of feelings in ethics. Thus, care ethics respectpersonal feelings in determining ethical system. The role of feelingscan be sometimes unreliable especially when personal biases andprejudices come into play. For instance, the perception that blacksare criminals may result to exploitation of the blacks in thesociety. Most importantly, care ethics does not disparage or ignorereason, but it places emphasis on empathy, friendship, affection andrelationships in general which other ethical thoughts likeutilitarianism and Kantian thoughts tends to overlook.

6.What is a &quotfeminine&quot ethic?

Feminineethics is a perspective of ethics which shifts from the traditionview of ethics that is largely concerned with men. It is a form ofcare ethics as it takes into consideration the experiences of women.Since the emphasis of this care ethics is on women, they are referredas feminine ethics or female ethics theory. This theory was put forthby Lawrence Kohlberg and Carol Gilligan. The two psychologistsstipulated that, women played an important role in determining ethicssystem. As put forth by Kohlberg, women portray lower levels of moraldevelopment as compared to their male counterparts (Noddings, 2013).She suggested that, when women encounter a moral dilemma, theyusually seek additional information like the nature of therelationship between the participants in the incidence. Ultimately,feminine ethics focus on moral development of children and thedifferences that exists between women and men in these developments.


Noddings,N. (2013). Caring:A relational approach to ethics and moral education.Univ of California Press.