Why does the so-called “Contribution Curve” embody the trade-off relationship between equality and efficiency?

Hello everyone in Online Ethics at Sakai (V), It was very good to see that you all were engaged in lively team discussions by taking advantage of the most advanced multimedia platform for online meeting. From now on, as I hoped and expected, everyone should find it easy and quite enjoyable, and most importantly rewarding to talk to other members on all subject matter of our study. NB: Apparently, Sakai takes some time to finalize the recording of the meeting; so don’t panic, wait a little, and go back to find the web link for the recording. I have applied a “liberal” standard to grant you the credit points from team discussions on the pass/fail basis; I would urge all of you, first of all, to be well-informed on the issues and questions, and to express yourself clearly and cogently, and to listen to others carefully. I would again emphasize the importance of studying the “Summing-up” lectures released after the initial IR’s before you enter team discussions. (IR-5b was to make sure of that.) The leaders should be thoroughly prepared to exercise the role of moderator, and to report the discussions to the “best” extent in terms of both contents and structure. The written version of TR should be “more and better” than the initial IR as a byproduct of team discussions. Now it is time for us to take on the next issue in the chunk of the course devoted to the Applied Ethics; it is “Ethical Inquiry into Social Justice,” abbreviated as [SJ] (Social Justice). This email assignment of IR-6 on [SJ] is comprised of the following items: 1. on the connection between [CC] and [SJ]: 2. on the new Part 6 [SJ]: 3. on reading materials: 4. on the questions in IR-6: 5. on how to submit IR-6: —————————————————————————– 1. on the connection between [CC] and [SJ]: [CC], which we have studied via IR-5 & TR-5 with an excellent Edutainment “Abandon Ship!”, is rather intended as a “bridge” to the next one, [SJ], for which IR-6 is hereby assigned. Let me remind you of the two major themes mentioned when IR-5 was assigned: ====================================================== … we are going to watch an “Edutainment” at this round for Part 5. It aims at the following two main themes: (a) exploring intricate dynamics between external and internal human conditions, which we are “boxed” in as moral agents. (b) expanding moral agency to the whole society as a corporate entity ====================================================== It is my hope that everyone is now better versed with the corresponding two themes in the following way: 1. firstly, with respect to (a), the two notions of imperatives as the most relevant dichotomy (with no need to marginalize the other dichotomies); & 2. secondly, with respect to (b), the two dominant underlying moral principles for society regarded as a moral entity, namely, “egalitarianism” on the one hand, and “meritocracy” on other hand. Everyone is now expected to see that these two social principles are rooted in the two schools of thought in ethics that we have studied so far from the beginning. Through the study of [SJ], we shall get to see how a society as a moral entity is faced with the difficult task of meeting the two opposing social desiderata. As you can expect, the level of rigor and complexity is going to be far higher than has ever been. Buckle up! folks… —————————————————————————— 2. on the new Part 6 [SJ]: The following set of lecture modules is made available in the new Part 6: ======================================================== 6. Ethical Inquiry into Social Justice E6.1. [SJ]: Nature and Gravity of the Issue E6.3. [SJ]: Rawls’ Proposal for a Compromise E6.4. [SJ]: Rawls’ Argument, Justice as Fairness ======================================================= NB: As you may notice, there is E6.2, which is skipped this time. It contains a historical documentary on the issue, which is not directly relevant to [SJ], to the same degree to which “Abandon Ship!” was to [CC]. As you would know, you need to spend more “quality time” with reading, and thinking, not to mention studying lectures in video. I figured that it would be enough! —————————————————————————— 2. on reading materials: The excerpt from the book by one of the most eminent philosophers of our time that we are studying in this round (i.e., John Rawls) is attached here to this email as the “required” reading for IR-6: Ethics Reading on [SJ] (Rawls).pdf I would have to caution you that all the questions in this issue are not that easy. As I have explained in the lecture, the issue of [SJ] is most demanding and technical as well (inevitably as a result of stepping into economics to a minimally necessary degree). Correspondingly, the reading will not be easy either. Do your best, and show your “sincere” efforts (it is my advice NOT to put it off to the last few hours, not even to the last day). NB: It is in full compliance with the copyright law pertinent to higher learning institutions; but do NOT circulate outside of this course. —————————————————————————— 3. on the questions in IR-6: ============================================================================== (EQ56)-(ST) What is the “nature” of the issue called “social (economic / distributive) justice”? ============================================================================== (EQ57)-(ST) … inapplicable What does the term “Commanding Height” refer to in the historical documentary? Who was credited for using the term? Who are the two economic thinkers that represented the two opposing sides in the “Battle of Ideas”? What are the Egalitarian (Kantian) Indifference Lines (EIL) and the Utilitarian Indifference Lines (UIL)? In this case what become the “external” force and the “internal” forces, respectively (as were discussed in [CC] on the modes of moral thinking)? ============================================================================== (EQ59)-(FC) (*) What is the Rawls’ solution to the age-old question of social (economic / distributive) justice? How does his celebrated “Difference Principle” work? NB: it is explained in the lecture; also the following from the page 11 of the reading can be referenced, where it is articulated as the 2nd sub-principle of the 2nd principle: … they are to be to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged members of society (the difference principle) … Explain how it fares on 2-person utility space in prescribing a solution, in comparison to its rivalries, namely, Utilitarian and Egalitarian solutions. ============================================================================== (EQ60)-(FC) (*) Explain how Rawls tries to justify his solution in his own “unique” version of contractarianism. Explain what the following terms refer to: (1) Original Position (2) Veil of Ignorance (3) Maximin Rule ============================================================================== (EQ61)-(FC) (*) What is the most important assessment of human nature and condition by Rawls which is reflected in his argument called “Justice as Fairness”? To be more specific, what is the aspect of human nature and condition that he regards as “morally arbitrary,” which in turn needs to be redressed by our collective scheme of social justice? ============================================================================== (EQ62)-(SQ) Why is it the case that the Rawls’ proposal may be deemed as a “neo-Kantian” compromise? Why is it the case that while the life boat situation doesn’t seem to render itself a compromise at all, the case of social distributive justice does appear to afford one? What is the source of the above difference between the two cases considered here, respectively in [CC] & [SJ], where the latter is considered as extension or expansion of the former? —————————————————————————— 4. on how to submit IR-6: As you can see, there are the following four (FC) questions that you’re required to reply in IR-6: (EQ58)-(FC) (*) (EQ59)-(FC) (*) (EQ60)-(FC) (*) (EQ61)-(FC) (*) Copy all of these (FC) questions along with demarcation double lines into your submission; clearly mark and properly edit your answers.

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