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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: November 6, 1999
E-Mail Curran or Takata.

Discussion of Lecture: Quinney's Critique of Rawl's Theory of Justice

Thread initiated by Stanley Salas, CSUDH, Fall 1999
Copyright: November 1999. "Fair Use" encouraged.
Curran and Takata, Part of Teaching Series
Copyright: September 1999. "Fair Use" encouraged.

On November 8, Stan wrote:


This is in response to your lecture of Monday 11-8-99 and to the concept link regarding Quinney & Rawls.  

Why does Quinney discount Rawls' assumption that some people actually "jump" through the cracks as opposed to "falling" through the cracks?  Rawls seems to be taking into account that some people do not want an equal share of benefits supplied in capitalist society.  In my opinion Rawls is more agreeable as a post modernist because he allows that everyone is entitiled to have basic needs (food, shelter, health care) fulfilled and therefore is cared for and part of society.  The individual has the option of partaking in the community without starving for his convictions.  Quinney, on the other hand, wants a consensus of the community that may dictate what is "right" for everyone who benefits by the redistribution of wealth.  Is quinny a positivist because he needs a community consensus to establish what is best for most people but not necessarily for the individual?  

stan salas

On November 9 Susan and jeanne responded:

Wow! We're impressed at the extent to which you are connecting our discussions and thinking with the theories. Our first reaction was to share this in real time, over the phone. Our second reaction was to upload it immediately so that all of us can respond. Our third reaction was to plead that jeanne is late, and promise our response to follow.

I particularly like your concept of "jumping" through the cracks. That says it very well, that there are those who are making good faith efforts to bring us together, to lay safety nets for us all, and then there are others who seem to be "jumping" through the cracks, not "falling." Since I received this response just after J.W.'s response to the lecture on black men, I am immediately aware of the desperation of which J.W. speaks, and wonder how that would cause the "jumping" to looks to us. Is it like suicide? Or is it like rebellion? Or is it like a challenge to injustices? Or is it like crime?

Amazed at your juxtaposition of the positivism - postmodern continuum with Quinney's perception of Rawls' position. Very creative. I think you're getting Osgood's idea of stealing theory across disciplines. I hadn't thought of that, and I need time to think it over. Your explanations make sense. It is to the underlying unstated assumptions we will have to turn. I suspect that my final reaction will depend upon our definition of "modern welfare state."

jeanne and Susan