David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Ilya Kasavin (ed.), David Hume and Contemporary Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2012)
David Hume is a constant, but underappreciated presence in John Rawls’ work. This paper attempts to uncover and explicate the core Humean elements in Rawls’ philosophy and advocates for the merits of a more Humean Rawls. Though Rawls’ familiarity with Hume is well known and his commentators frequently mention the importance of Hume’s circumstances of justice, the depth and range of the Humean influence has not been sufficiently understood. Commentators have been too quick to accept Rawls’ own account of Hume as a largely negative influence superseded by justice as fairness’s formidable alternative to utilitarianism. This is a mistake, as Hume remains a powerful and positive historical influence in Rawls’ political philosophy. Moreover, recognition of Hume’s influence provides cogent ways of responding to some of Rawls’ most prominent critics. Rawls’ early essays and his lectures on the history of moral and political philosophy provide valuable material for understanding how Rawls saw the relation of his own work to that of his predecessors. Through an analysis of Rawls’ texts with emphasis on his early papers and lectures we seek to clarify his understanding of Hume and show how it impacts his work. In what follows, we show Hume’s influence on Rawls’ understanding of the circumstances of justice, the site of justice, the priority of the right, sympathy, the judicious spectator, and his methodology and approach to the problem of stability based on congruence between the good and the right. This illuminates Hume’s influence on contemporary political philosophy and provides a more balanced picture of the historical foundation of Rawls’ political philosophy. We end with some positive remarks on the benefits of embracing Rawls’ Humean side.
|Keywords||David Hume Political Philosophy John Rawls|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Andrews Reath, Barbara Herman, Christine M. Korsgaard & John Rawls (eds.) (1997). Reclaiming the History of Ethics: Essays for John Rawls. Cambridge University Press.
David A. Reidy (2004). Rawls on International Justice: A Defense. Political Theory 32 (3):291-319.
William A. Edmundson (2002). Civility as Political Constraint. Res Publica 8 (3):217-229.
Alan Carter (2006). The Evolution of Rawls's Justification of Political Compliance: Part 1 of the Problem of Political Compliance in Rawls's Theories of Justice. Journal of Moral Philosophy 3 (1):7-21.
Steinar Bøyum (2012). Rawls’s Notion of the Political Conception as Educator. European Journal of Political Theory 12 (2):136-152.
Alan Carter (2006). Political Liberalism and Political Compliance: Part 2 of the Problem of Political Compliance in Rawls’s Theories of Justice. Journal of Moral Philosophy 3 (2):135-157.
Edmund N. Santurri (2005). Global Justice After the Fall Christian Realism and the “Law of Peoples”. Journal of Religious Ethics 33 (4):783-814.
Brian Barry (1995). John Rawls and the Search for Stability. [REVIEW] Ethics 105 (4):874 - 915.
Michael L. Frazer (2007). John Rawls: Between Two Enlightenments. Political Theory 35 (6):756 - 780.
David Dyzenhaus (1996). Liberalism After the Fall: Schmitt, Rawls and the Problem of Justification. Philosophy and Social Criticism 22 (3):9-37.
David Shaw (2011). Justice and the Fetus: Rawls, Children and Abortion. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 20 (1):93-101.
Angela Coventry & Alexander Sager (2013). Hume and Contemporary Political Philosophy. The European Legacy (5):588-602.
Samuel Clark (2009). No Abiding City: Hume, Naturalism, and Toleration. Philosophy 84 (1):75-94.
Added to index2012-10-08
Total downloads3 ( #298,221 of 1,102,971 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #297,509 of 1,102,971 )
How can I increase my downloads?