Review essay: John Rawls's last word

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 39 (1):107-114 (2009)
Abstract
Although no one can deny the profound importance of John Rawls's work in political philosophy, which covered both an original theory of justice and extensive work and teaching on the history of moral and political philosophy, we are now at the point where his contributions more clearly suggest certain historical limitations. Such topics as gender justice, racial justice, and environmental justice figured in Rawls's work only belatedly and in less than satisfactory ways. Surely the wide influence of the Rawlsian revolution should suggest that the erasures and blindspots in his historical reconstructions ought to be acknowledged and addressed, rather than avoided out of some misguided conception of charity in interpretation. Key Words: exemplars • feminism • gender • Justice As Fairness • Kantianism • critical race theory • social contract • Straussianism • utilitarianism.
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