The notion of the 'social contract'1 was revived and revised by Rawls, who postulated a hypothetical social contract in which contractors who are devising amongst themselves the outlines of 'the foundation charter of their society' from a position of ignorance as to what would be their skills, weaknesses, preferences and positions in the future social hierarchy ('the veil of ignorance'), would be bound (if rational) to choose a tolerant society and one which would guarantee them the rights necessary to pursue any individual goals they might in future choose, rather than adopting structures which might in future prevent them
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