English Test 74
Directions for Questions from 1 to 5:
The passage given below is followed a question. Choose the most appropriate answer to each question.
My aim is to present a conception of justice which generalizes and carries to a higher level of abstraction the familiar theory of the social contract. In
order to do this we are not to think of the original contract as one to enter a particular society or to set up a particular form of government. Rather,
the idea is that the principles of justice for the basic structure of society are the object of the original agreement. They are the principles that free
and rational persons concerned to further their own interests would accept in an initial position of equality. These principles are to regulate all
further agreements; they specify the kinds of social cooperation that can be entered into and the forms of government that can be established. This
way of regarding the principles of justice, I shall call justice as fairness. Thus, we are to imagine that those who engage in social cooperation
choose together, in one joint act, the principles which are to assign basic rights and duties and to determine the division of social benefits. Just as
each person must decide by rational reflection what constitute his good, that is, the system of ends which it is rational for him to pursue, so a group
of persons must decide once and for all what is to count among them as just and unjust. The choice which rational men would make in this
hypothetical situation of equal liberty determines the principles of justice.
In ‘justice as fairness’, the original position is not an actual historical state of affairs. It is understood as a purely hypothetical situation
characterized so as to lead to a certain conception of justice. Among the essential features of this situation is that no one knows his place in
society, his class position or social status, nor does anyone know his fortune in the distribution of natural assets and abilities, his intelligence,