1. Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of though.
2. The social contract is an intellectual device intended to explain the appropriate relationship between individuals and their governments. Social contract arguments assert that individuals unite into political societies by a process of mutual consent, agreeing to abide by common rules and accept corresponding duties to protect themselves and one another from violence and other kinds of harm.
3. The original position idea goes back to political philosophers who posited an original state of nature, where humans got together and made a social contract for their benefit. Instead of supposing this to be a historical situation, Rawls makes it a thought experiment.
4. A method of determining the morality of a certain issue (e.g. slavery) based upon the following thought experiment: parties to the original position know nothing about their particular abilities, tastes, and position within the social order of society. The veil of ignorance blocks off this knowledge, such that one does not know what burdens and benefits of social cooperation might fall to him/her once the veil is lifted. With this knowledge blocked, parties to the original position must decide on principles for the distribution of rights, positions and resources in their society.
5. He means that a system that is just is one that is the most fair. Specifically, he believes that society should be built in a…