David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 20 (1):93-101 (2011)
In a footnote to the first edition of Political Liberalism, John Rawls introduced an example of how public reason could deal with controversial issues. He intended this example to show that his system of political liberalism could deal with such problems by considering only political values, without the introduction of comprehensive moral doctrines. Unfortunately, Rawls chose “the troubled question of abortion” as the issue that would illustrate this. In the case of abortion, Rawls argued, “the equality of women as equal citizens” overrides both “the ordered reproduction of political society over time” and also “the due respect for human life”. It seems fair to say that this was not the best choice of example, and also that Rawls did not argue for his example particularly well: a whole subset of the Rawlsian literature concerns this question alone. Rawls went on to clarify his views on abortion and public reason, but he continued to maintain that a society’s policy on abortion could be decided without introducing comprehensive moral doctrines concerning the moral status of the fetus. The three aims of this paper are to argue: (i) that a society cannot legitimately decide on its abortion policy using purely political values; (ii) that Rawls’ stances on abortion in his two major works are incompatible; and (iii) that neither of Rawls’ conceptions of justice could permit abortion.
|Keywords||John Rawls Abortion Justice Children Political liberalism Original position|
|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
John Rawls (1999). The Law of Peoples. Harvard University Press.
John Rawls (1993). Political Liberalism. Columbia University Press.
John Rawls (2009/2005). A Theory of Justice. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Philosophy and Rhetoric. Oxford University Press 133-135.
J. Rawls (1995). Political Liberalism. Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Melissa Lane & Ronald Dworkin (1994). Life's Dominion. Philosophical Quarterly 44 (176):413.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Sebastiano Maffettone (2001). John Rawls. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 1 (3):189-216.
Alexander Kaufman (2006). Rawls's Practical Conception of Justice: Opinion, Tradition and Objectivity in Political Liberalism. Journal of Moral Philosophy 3 (1):23-43.
John R. Wright (2002). Conflicts of Value and the Political Ideal of Citizenship. Social Philosophy Today 18:167-181.
Percy B. Lehning (1998). The Coherence of Rawls's Plea for Democratic Equality. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 1 (4):1-41.
Ruth Abbey (2007). Back Toward a Comprehensive Liberalism? Justice as Fairness, Gender, and Families. Political Theory 35 (1):5 - 28.
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.
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.
Samuel Richard Freeman (ed.) (2003). The Cambridge Companion to Rawls. Cambridge University Press.
Remi Odedoyin (2000). Overlapping Consensus. Journal of Philosophical Research 25:323-343.
Added to index2009-08-20
Total downloads78 ( #52,769 of 1,793,282 )
Recent downloads (6 months)14 ( #54,355 of 1,793,282 )
How can I increase my downloads?