Social Agreement Is

In his Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy, Rawls tells us that a “normalization of the interests attributed to the parties” “is common to the doctrines of the social contract” and that it is necessary to unify the perspectives of the different parties to build a “common position” (2007, 226). In this regard, Rawls seems to suggest that it is necessary to “normalize” the parties` perspectives in order to obtain a disposition in the contract proceedings. Models involve abstraction and idealization, but they do more than that: they help us see what our main assumptions are, identify the factors we consider relevant (Gaus 2016, xv-xvii). Michael Weisberg agrees that models as idealization techniques are more than abstract (2007a, 2013). Look at the periodic table of elements. It is an abstraction, but not a model in Weisberg. He calls abstractions like the periodic table abstract direct representations to distinguish them from models (2007b). Modeling attempts to isolate the important characteristics of the target phenomena so that the modeler can understand and manipulate important elements of the phenomena in the simulations. John Rawls` representatives of the initial position, for example, are not just abstractions of real people. These are idealizations that isolate certain aspects of people that are relevant to justification as a choice, especially their thin theory of rationality and their values (in the form of primary goods).

The isolation of these characteristics is important for modeling the agreement procedure in Rawls theory.