Democracy and justice: A comment on Weithman
There is a growing literature under the banner of "deliberative democracy," and Paul Weithman suggests that much of it is based on, or at least implies, a critique of the kind of theory of justice pioneered by Rawls 1. The issue at stake is whether a democratic political theory can admit independent normative standards that apply to and constrain democratic decisions. A certain kind of critic thinks independent standards are anti-democratic. Weithman's defense of Rawlsian theory against this charge is, I believe, instructively mistaken. Rawlsian theory escapes the charge but not for Weithman's reasons. This dispute might reasonably hope to shed light on the interrelations not only between democracy and justice, but also between these and political legitimacy.
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