About this topic
Summary John Rawls was an American moral and political philosopher whose work has been referred to as “epoch-making” and “cataclysmic in its effect.” His theorizing was fundamentally animated by a desire to address the problem of political (in)justice in modern constitutional democracies. Rawls spent more than 50 years developing and refining a conception of justice that he believed could offer the type of governance framework necessary to manage the problem of political (in)justice effectively and, in so doing, provide for the realization of an acceptably just and stable liberal democracy.
Key works The following offer the most comprehensive articulations of Rawls' theory of justice as fairness: Rawls 1971; and Rawls 1993. Rawls 1999 represents Rawls' effort to apply his theory of justice as fairness to the realm of international relations. With Rawls 2001 Rawls sought to provide an authoritative yet concise “restatement” of his conception of justice as fairness that effectively synthesizes the arguments presented in his previously published work. A wonderful compilations of Rawls' essays is contained in Rawls 1999.
Introductions Since Rawls’s death in 2002, there has arisen a veritable cottage industry dedicated to summarizing and analyzing his work and its past, present and future impact upon the disciplines of moral and political philosophy. Among the more accessible yet instructive are Pogge 2007; Freeman 2007; Lehning 2009; Graham 2006; and Talisse 2001
Related categories

2213 found
1 — 50 / 2213
  1. The Liberal Theory of Justice: A Critical Examination of the Principal Doctrines in a Theory of Justice by John Rawls. [REVIEW] A. - 1974 - Review of Metaphysics 28 (1):116-117.
  2. Constructing Justice for Existing Practice: Rawls and the Status Quo.J. Aaron - 2006 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 33:281 - 316.
  3. Feminist Interpretations of John Rawls.Ruth Abbey (ed.) - 2013 - Pennsylvania State University Press.
    In _Feminist Interpretations of John Rawls_, Ruth Abbey collects eight essays responding to the work of John Rawls from a feminist perspective. An impressive introduction by the editor provides a chronological overview of English-language feminist engagements with Rawls from his Theory of Justice onwards. She surveys the range of issues canvassed by feminist readers of Rawls, as well as critics’ wide disagreement about the value of Rawls’s corpus for feminist purposes. The eight essays that follow testify to the continuing ambivalence (...)
  4. Rawlsian Resources for Animal Ethics.Ruth Abbey - 2007 - Ethics and the Environment 12 (1):1-22.
    : This article considers what contribution the work of John Rawls can make to questions about animal ethics. It argues that there are more normative resources in A Theory of Justice for a concern with animal welfare than some of Rawls's critics acknowledge. However, the move from A Theory of Justice to Political Liberalism sees a depletion of normative resources in Rawlsian thought for addressing animal ethics. The article concludes by endorsing the implication of A Theory of Justice that we (...)
  5. 2 Owning the Misdeeds of Japan's Wartime Regime1.Farid Abdel-Nour - 2013 - In Jun-Hyeok Kwak (ed.), Inherited Responsibility and Historical Reconciliation in East Asia. Routledge. pp. 1--23.
  6. Beyond Rorty, Habermas and Rawls: Cross-Cultural Judgement in the Postmetaphysical Age.Farid Abdel-Nour - 1999 - Dissertation, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick
    This dissertation engages the following question: how, in the absence of an uncontroversial source of moral guidance, can liberals make political and moral claims across cultural divides? While committed to toleration, liberals cannot escape the compulsion to apply basic standards of equal individual human rights and liberties universally. Under postmetaphysical conditions, however, they no longer find credible arguments that assure them of the sources of these standards in "natural law," "human nature," or "practical reason." Aware that individual rights have their (...)
  7. Background Environmental Justice: An Extension of Rawls's Political Liberalism.Edward Abplanalp - unknown
    This dissertation extends John Rawls’s mature theory of justice out to address the environmental challenges that citizens of liberal democracies now face. Specifically, using Rawls’s framework of political liberalism, I piece together a theory of procedural justice to be applied to a constitutional democracy. I show how citizens of pluralistic democracies should apply this theory to environmental matters in a four stage contracting procedure. I argue that, if implemented, this extension to Rawls’s theory would secure background environmental justice. I explain (...)
  8. Raising One Eyebrow and Re‐Envisioning Justice, Gender, and the Family.Brooke A. Ackerly - 2016 - Hypatia 31 (3):638-650.
    As part of a celebration of Susan Okin's Justice, Gender, and the Family, this article notes how some impacts of the book were so accepted that their original source has been forgotten. It goes on to make three critical arguments about 1) Okin's pared-down account of gender injustice, 2) her choice to embrace the Rawlsian distributive view of justice, and 3) her treatment of the family as the linchpin of gender injustice.
  9. Political Liberalisms.Bruce Ackerman - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (7):364-386.
  10. Conflict.Robert Merrihew Adams - 2009 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):115-132.
    The following theses are defended. Conflict has importantly valuable functions, but we obviously need to limit its destructiveness. The efficacy of reasoning together in resolving or restraining conflict is limited; it needs to be supplemented by procedures such as negotiation, compromise, and voting. Despite the urgency of justice, when the resolution or limitation of a conflict needs to be negotiated, the best attainable outcome will often not seem completely just to all parties, and some claims of justice, as seen by (...)
  11. The Theological Ethics of the Young Rawls and Its Background.Robert Merrihew Adams - 2009 - In JohnHG Rawls (ed.), A Brief Inquiry Into the Meaning of Sin and Faith: With "on My Religion". Harvard University Press. pp. 24-102.
  12. In Defence of the Use of Maximin Principle of Choice Under Uncertainty in Rawls' Original Position.Binod Kumar Agarwala - 1986 - Indian Philosophical Quarterly 8 (2):157-176.
  13. Toward a Fictionless Liberalism.Joseph Agassi - 2016 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 46 (1):77-91.
    This Companion centers on the fictitious social contract that can be used to justify liberalism. As justification, the theory of the contract either fully justifies a regime as liberal or it fully condemns it as illiberal. This conflicts with the common recognition that liberalism is a matter of degree. John Rawls is taken as the leading light; yet at best the Companion manages to picture him as well-intended but hopelessly confusing.
  14. Reassessing Walzer's Social Criticism.M. Agnafors - 2012 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 38 (9):917-937.
    It is often argued that Michael Walzer’s theory of social criticism, which underpins his theory of justice, is not much of a theory at all, but rather an impressionistic collection of historical anecdotes. Contrary to this perception, I argue that Walzer’s method can be accurately described as a version of John Rawls’ well-known method of wide reflective equilibrium. Through a systematic comparison it can be shown that the two methods are strikingly similar. This implies that, far from the critics’ claim, (...)
  15. La Crítica de Rawls Al Utilitarismo a la Luz de Las Nociones de Autorrespeto y Reconocimiento Recíproco.Pablo Aguayo Westwood - 2016 - HYBRIS: Revista de Filosofía 7 (1):129-150.
    Este artículo aborda la crítica que Rawls presentó al utilitarismo en el marco de la discusión sobre el fundamento moral de los principios de justicia que deben organizar una sociedad democrática. Se muestra que el principio de utilidad carece de las constricciones morales necesarias para garantizar tanto un efectivo reconocimiento entre las personas, así como una equitativa distribución de las bases sociales del autorrespeto. Se presentan los argumentos de Rawls en contra del utilitarismo clásico en dos grupos: primero aquellos que (...)
  16. Psicología de la Justicia. La relación alma-justicia en Platón.Sebastián Antonio Contreras Aguirre - 2008 - A Parte Rei 57:6.
  17. Harold Garfinkel: Toward a Sociological Theory of Information. Ed. Anne Warfield Rawls. [REVIEW]James Aho - 2010 - Human Studies 33 (1):117-121.
    Harold Garfinkel: Toward a Sociological Theory of Information. Ed. Anne Warfield Rawls Content Type Journal Article Pages 117-121 DOI 10.1007/s10746-010-9141-1 Authors James Aho, Idaho State University Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Criminal Justice Pocatello ID 83209 USA Journal Human Studies Online ISSN 1572-851X Print ISSN 0163-8548 Journal Volume Volume 33 Journal Issue Volume 33, Number 1.
  18. The Pseudo-Deontology of John Rawls: In Defense of the Principle of Utility.Emmanuel Damascus Akpan - 1980 - Dissertation, Georgetown University
    It is contended that the Kantian Interpretation has failed. It is nothing but pseudo-Kantianism. As a result of the failure of the Kantian Interpretation, Rawls' criticism against utilitarianism is ineffective with the consequence that Rawls is unable to make a radical break with utilitarianism. Furthermore, it makes possible the contention that Rawls' theory is strictly speaking not deonotological. That underlying Rawls' theory is the notion of consequences. And thus the contention that Rawls is a non-Kantian consequentialist. ;The original position acts (...)
  19. La difícil justicia mediática: aproximación a la justicia en los medios de comunicación social, pero también de ellos.Norberto Alcover - 2008 - Critica 58 (954):57-61.
  20. The Limits of Rawlsian Justice.Roberto Alejandro - 1998 - Johns Hopkins University Press.
    The idea of fairness lies at the heart of the concept of justice proposed by political philosopher John Rawls, a concept that liberals have often invoked to defend the welfare state. In The Limits of Rawlsian Justice political theorist Roberto Alejandro challenges the assumptions that Rawls set out to defend his position. While other opponents of Rawls have attempted to offer an alternative to his concept of justice as fairness, Alejandro instead examines Rawls from within his own writings, testing Rawls's (...)
  21. Os direitos humanos como norteadores do direito no âmbito Das relações internacionais: A aplicabilidade da teoria de justiça de John Rawls na organização Das nações uniDas.João Victor Gomes Bezerra Alencar - 2015 - Revista Fides 6 (2).
  22. Property-Owning Democracy.Gar Alperovitz - 2012 - In T. Williamson (ed.), Property-Owning Democracy: Rawls and Beyond. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 266.
  23. Los sentimientos morales en la teoría contractual de John Rawls.M. P. GonzÁlez Altable - 1994 - Agora 13 (1):131.
  24. Democracia y deliberación pública desde la perspectiva rawlsiana.M. Pilar Altable - 2004 - Isegoría 31:79-94.
    En el presente trabajo me centro, principalmente, en una de las cuestiones que ocupan, a mi modo de ver, el primer plano de la reflexión teórica actual: el problema de la democracia como forma política del uso público de la razón por parte de todos, estudiándolo desde el paradigma que nos ofrece John Rawls en sus últimas obras. Sobre todo en el papel y límite que Rawls asigna a la «Razón pública» y la «Deliberación pública», cuyo análisis me parece enormemente (...)
  25. John Rawls, Una Concepci'on Pol'itica y Liberal de la Justicia.Ma Pilar Gonzâalez Altable - 1993
  26. Review of Jack Reynolds' "Chronopathologies: Time and Politics in Deleuze, Derrida, Analytic Philosophy, and Phenomenology". [REVIEW]Marco Altamirano - forthcoming - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews:xx-yy.
  27. Rawls's Difference Principle.J. E. J. Altham - 1973 - Philosophy 48 (183):75 - 78.
  28. Rawls' Pragmatic Turn.Andrew Altman - 1983 - Journal of Social Philosophy 14 (3):8-12.
  29. Critiquing The Veil Of Ignorance.John Altmann - manuscript
    The present work is to be a critique of Rawls’ Veil of Ignorance as well as putting forth an alternative analytical tool when constructing societies known as the L’echelle Naturelle. My paper hopes to argue that inequalities in a society are not only essential in society contrary to Rawls’ Egalitarian ideology, but do in fact contain equality so long as the autonomy of the citizen is fully exercisable. I contend that institutions such as government and their extensions namely the law, (...)
  30. Homenaje Póstumo a John Rawls.Juan Carlos Alútiz - 2004 - Isegoría 31:5-45.
    El presente artículo trata de ofrecer una visión panorámica de la obra de John Rawls, describiendo la evolución de su pensamiento desde su inicial y original propuesta de «Justicia como equidad», hasta sus últimas aportaciones en tomo al Liberalismo político.
  31. Sul diritto dei popoli. A proposito della teoria non ideale di John Rawls.A. C. Amato - 2004 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia Del Diritto 81.
  32. Vive la Difference? Rawls' "Difference Principle" and the Fatal Premise Upon Which It Rests.Robert V. Andelson - 1975 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 56 (2):207.
  33. Reconstructing the Justice Dispute in America.David Michael Anderson - 1990 - Dissertation, University of Michigan
    This dissertation centers around a concept which I construct in order to classify, explain, understand, and criticize an existing kind of moral conception. I call the concept proceduralism. A proceduralist moral conception is defined as a moral conception which uses constitutive principles of reasoning in a procedure of justification to justify substantive principles of right or justice. The commitment to justifying principles of right is so strong as to shape the entire moral conception into a theory of justification. Moreover, proceduralist (...)
  34. © 1991 Jeremy@Jeremyanderson.Net.Jeremy Anderson - manuscript
    The contractarian theory elaborated by John Rawls in A Theory of Justice exploits the difference principle in a great many ways. Rawls argues that, when used as part of a set of guiding principles for structuring the basic institutions of society, it simplifies the problem of interpersonal comparisons (91-4)1, helps compensate for the arbitrariness of natural endowments (101-3), promotes a harmony of interests between citizens (104-5), reintroduces the principle of fraternity to democratic society (105-6), and, what is critical to his (...)
  35. Associació estable versus unió social. La concepció de la societat en Nozick i Rawls. ÀngelCastiñeira - 1993 - Convivium 5:99.
  36. Decent Democratic Centralism.S. C. Angle - 2005 - Political Theory 33 (4):518-546.
    Are there any coherent and defensible alternatives to liberal democracy? The author examines the possibility that a reformed democratic centralism-the principle around which China's current polity is officially organized-might be legitimate, according to both an inside and an outside perspective. The inside perspective builds on contemporary Chinese political theory; the outside perspective critically deploys Rawls's notion ofa "decent society " as its standard. Along the way, the author pays particular attention to the kinds and degree of pluralism a decent society (...)
  37. Revisiting Rawls:A Theory of Justice in the Light of Levi's Theory of Decision.Erik Angner - 2004 - Theoria 70 (1):3-21.
  38. Is a Political Conception of “Overlapping Consensus” an Adequate Basis for Global Justice?Karl-Otto Apel - 2001 - The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 11:1-15.
    This paper considers how the problem of justice is to be globalized in the political theory of John Rawls. I discuss first the conception of “overlapping consensus” as an innovation in Rawls’s Political Liberalism and point out the recurrence of the problem of a philosophical foundation in his pragmatico-political interpretation. I suggest an intensification of Rawls’s notion of the “priority of the right to the good” as a philosophical correction to his political self-interpretation, and then finally carry through on a (...)
  39. La prioridad de la justicia sobre el bien en John Rawls.Vicente Orellana Aranda - 2000 - Contrastes: Revista Interdisciplinar de Filosofía 5:113-133.
  40. A Ordem Moral Moderna E A Política Do Secularismo.Luiz Bernardo Araujo - 2011 - Ethic@ 10:39-53.
    O artigo trata da política do secularismo como um componente essencial da ordem moral moderna, contrapondo a caracterização da secularidade em Charles Taylor às abordagens do tema na ideia de razão pública em John Rawls e na concepção pós-secular de democracia em Jürgen Habermas.The article deals with the politics of secularism as an essential component of modern moral order, opposing Charles Taylor’s characterization of secularity to the approaches of the issue in John Rawls’s idea of public reason and in Jürgen (...)
  41. Democracy and Secularism: Remarks on an Ongoing Dispute.Luiz Leite Araujo - 2014 - Ethic@ 13 (1):141-150.
    This paper focus on the disputed issue concerning the proper role of religion in politics, confronting the contributions of three major contemporary political thinkers about democracy and secularism. I present, first, Charles Taylor’s characterization of secularist regimes as attempts to secure the basic principles of the modern moral order. Next, I argue that John Rawls’s growing interest in the relation between religion and democracy led him to an even more inclusive view of public reason. Thirdly, I show that Jürgen Habermas (...)
  42. Why Political Liberalism? On John Rawls’s Political Turn by Paul Weithman.Matthew Arbo - 2013 - Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 33 (1):203-204.
  43. John Rawls and Christian Social Engagement: Justice as Unfairness.Matthew Arbo, Hunter Baker, Jerome C. Foss, Daniel Kelly, Joseph Knippenberg, Bryan McGraw, Matthew Parks, Karen Taliaferro, John Addison Teevan & Micah Watson - 2014 - Lexington Books.
    In this book, leading Christian political thinkers and practitioners critique the Rawlsian concepts of “justice as fairness” and “public reason” from the perspective of Christian political theory and practice. It provides a new level of analysis from Christian perspectives, including implications for such hot topics as the culture war.
  44. John Rawls, Political Liberalism.D. Archard - forthcoming - Radical Philosophy.
  45. Political Reasonability.David Archard - 2005 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 35 (1):1 - 25.
  46. Fair Enough?David Archard - 1994 - Radical Philosophy Group.
  47. Rawls, Sartre, and the Question of Camaraderie.René V. Arcilla - 2013 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 32 (5):491-502.
  48. Disability, Self Image, and Modern Political Theory.B. Arneil - 2009 - Political Theory 37 (2):218-242.
    Charles Taylor argues that recognition begins with the politics of "self-image," as groups represented in the past by others in ways harmful to their own identity replace negative historical self-images with positive ones of their own making. Given the centrality of "self image" to his politics of recognition, it is striking that Taylor, himself, represents disabled people in language that is both limiting and depreciating. The author argues such negative self-images are not unique to Taylor but endemic to modern political (...)
  49. Rawls Versus Utilitarianism in the Light of Political Liberalism.Richard Arneson - manuscript
    The critique of utilitarianism forms a crucial subplot in the complex analysis of social justice that John Rawls develops in his first book, A Theory of Justice.1 The weaknesses of utilitarianism indicate the need for an alternative theory, and at many stages of the argument the test for the adequacy of the new theory that Rawls elaborates is whether it can be demonstrated to be superior to the utilitarian rival. The account of social justice shifts in the transition to Rawls’s (...)
  50. Two Cheers for Capabilities.Richard Arneson - manuscript
    What is the best standard of interpersonal comparison for a broadly egalitarian theory of social justice?1 A broadly egalitarian theory is one that holds that justice requires that institutions and individual actions should be arranged to improve, to some degree, the quality of life of those who are worse off than others, or very badly off, or both.2 I shall add the specification that to qualify as broadly egalitarian, the theory must in some circumstances require action to aid the worse (...)
1 — 50 / 2213