David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Penn State University Press (2011)
With the publication of A Theory of Justice in 1971, John Rawls not only rejuvenated contemporary political philosophy but also defended a Kantian form of Enlightenment liberalism called “justice as fairness.” Enlightenment liberalism stresses the development and exercise of our capacity for autonomy, while Reformation liberalism emphasizes diversity and the toleration that encourages it. These two strands of liberalism are often mutually supporting, but they conflict in a surprising number of cases, whether over the accommodation of group difference, the design of civic education, or the promotion of liberal values internationally. During the 1980’s, however, Rawls began to jettison key Kantian characteristics of his theory, a process culminating in the 1993 release of Political Liberalism and completing the transformation of justice as fairness into a Reformation liberalism. Reconstructing Rawls argues that this transformation was a tragic mistake because it jeopardized the most important features of his theory, viz. the lexical priorities of right, liberty, and fair equality of opportunity as well as the difference principle. Controversially, this book contends that Rawls’s so-called “political turn,” motivated by a newfound interest in diversity and the accommodation of difference, has been unhealthy for autonomy-based liberalism and has pushed liberalism more broadly towards cultural relativism, be it in the guise of liberal multiculturalism or critiques of cosmopolitan distributive-justice theories. The book then demonstrates that the central elements of justice as fairness can only be defended within the context of a Kantian Enlightenment liberalism and that Rawls’s hope for a more pluralistic grounding for his theory, endorsed by a wide variety of belief systems present in modern democratic societies, is illusory. Reconstructing Rawls is the first book to systematically compare Rawls’s and Kant’s theories and the first to offer an internal critique and reconstruction of justice as fairness, reconceiving it as a comprehensive, universalistic Kantian liberalism. By doing so, it gives us both the vision of a liberal world order—“a republicanism of all states, together and separately,” as Kant put it—and a mode of justification addressed to all men and women, not as members of particular nations, races, and faiths, but as human beings, as citizens of the world. In short, it reclaims Rawls for the Enlightenment.
|Keywords||Rawls Kant comprehensive liberalism political liberalism priority of liberty fair equality of opportunity difference principle|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Buy the book||$37.50 used (50% off) $49.99 new (34% off) $74.95 direct from Amazon Amazon page|
|ISBN(s)||0271037717 9780271037714 9780271037721|
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
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.
Larry A. Alexander (1985). Fair Equality of Opportunity. Philosophy Research Archives 11:197-208.
Alexander Kaufman (2006). Rawls's Practical Conception of Justice: Opinion, Tradition and Objectivity in Political Liberalism. Journal of Moral Philosophy 3 (1):23-43.
Robert S. Taylor (2003). Rawls’s Defense of the Priority of Liberty: A Kantian Reconstruction. Philosophy and Public Affairs 31 (3):246–271.
Michael Sandel (2003). Liberalism and the Limits of Justice. In Derek Matravers & Jonathan E. Pike (eds.), Debates in Contemporary Political Philosophy: An Anthology. Routledge, in Association with the Open University.
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.
Blain Neufeld (2005). Civic Respect, Political Liberalism, and Non-Liberal Societies. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 4 (3):275-299.
Helga Varden (2010). G. A. Cohen's Rescuing Justice and Equality - A Critical Engagement. Social Philosophy Today 26:175-189.
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.
Robert B. Talisse (2003). Rawls on Pluralism and Stability. Critical Review 15 (1-2):173-194.
David Shaw (2011). Justice and the Fetus: Rawls, Children and Abortion. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 20 (1):93-101.
Alexandra Dobra (2011). OKIN's FEMINIST CHALLENGE TO RAWLS's THEORY OF JUSTICE. FROM THEORY TO PUBLIC ACTION. Studia Philosophia (1):51-64.
Sebastiano Maffettone (2001). John Rawls. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 1 (3):189-216.
Added to index2011-02-26
Total downloads72 ( #18,344 of 1,096,601 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #50,170 of 1,096,601 )
How can I increase my downloads?