The Liberal Theory of Justice: A Critical Examination of the Principal Doctrines in a Theory of Justice by John Rawls [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 28 (1):116-117 (1974)

This book is a sustained criticism of John Rawls’ comprehensive work on the theory of justice. While recognizing the significant contribution of Rawls to both ethics and social theory in articulating clearly a distinct and coherent version of liberalism, Barry believes that "Rawls’ theory does not work and that many of his individual arguments are unsound." In the introductory chapter, the author gives an illuminating comparison of Rawls’ work with Henry Sedgwick’s Methods of Ethics. Throughout the book, critical references have been made to Rawls’ views expressed in the earlier papers. Critical attention is given to the notions of the original position, primary goods, and the thin theory of the good and their relation to Rawls’ contractarian principles of justice.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1974281116
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