In contemporary political philosophy, it is clear that the thinkingof John Rawls, especially in A Theory of Justice reflects theinfluence of Rousseau. A good example of this is the way in which Rawlsuses the device of the “original position” to put self-interestedchoice at the service of the determination of the principles ofjustice. This exactly parallels Rousseau’s argument that citizens willbe drawn to select just laws as if from an impartial perspective,because the universality and generality of the law means that whenconsidering their own interests they will select the measure that bestreflects their own interests.


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