Rawlsian Reflective Equilibrium

Abstract

This paper proposes a Rawlsian conception of moral justification as a social activity. Through a close reading, Rawls’ view of ethical justification is shown to be significantly more dialogical and deliberative than is commonly appreciated. The result is a view that emphasizes the social nature of ethical justification and identifies information sharing between persons as the crux of justification in metaethics, in contrast to normative ethics. I call it Rawlsian reflective equilibrium to distinguish it from other varieties.

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Thomas V. Cunningham
Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles

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