In addition, allowing experts on eyewitness identification to testify in court could educate juries and perhaps lead to more measured evaluation of the testimony. Most . jurisdictions disallow such experts in courtrooms on the grounds that laboratory-based eyewitness research does not apply to the courtroom and that, in any case, its conclusions are mostly common sense and therefore not very enlightening. Yet psychologist Gary Wells of Iowa State University and his colleague Lisa Hasel have amassed considerable evidence showing that the experimental findings do apply to courtroom testimony and that they are often counterintuitive.
The OP, as Rawls designs it, self-consciously builds on the long social-contract tradition in Western political philosophy. In classic presentations, such as John Locke’s Second Treatise of Civil Government (1690), the social contract was sometimes described as if it were an actual historical event. By contrast, Rawls’s social-contract device, like his earlier decision procedure, is frankly and completely hypothetical. While Rawls is most emphatic about this in his later work, for example, PL at 75, it is clear already in TJ . He insists there that it is up to the theorist to construct the social-contract thought-experiment in the way that makes the most sense given its task of helping us select principles of justice. Especially because of its frankly hypothetical nature, Rawls’s OP “carries to a higher level of abstraction the familiar theory of the social contract as found, say in Locke, Rousseau, and Kant.” TJ at 10.