European Journal of Political Theory 16 (3):367-381 (2017)

Jonathan Floyd
Bristol University
Rawls’ primary legacy is not that he standardised a particular view of justice, but rather that he standardised a particular method of arguing about it: justification via reflective equilibrium. Yet this method, despite such standardisation, is often misunderstood in at least four ways. First, we miss its continuity across his various works. Second, we miss the way in which it unifies other justificatory ideas, such as the ‘original position’ and an ‘overlapping consensus’. Third, we miss its fundamentally empirical character, given that it turns facts about the thoughts in our head into principles for the regulation of our political existence. Fourth, we miss some of the implications of that empiricism, including its tension with moral realism, relativism, and conservatism.
Keywords Rawls  reflective equilibrium  method
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DOI 10.1177/1474885115605260
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Rescuing Justice and Equality.G. A. Cohen (ed.) - 2008 - Harvard University Press.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Justice as Fairness: A Restatement.C. L. Ten - 2003 - Mind 112 (447):563-566.
Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth.Richard Rorty - 1991 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Normative Behaviourism as a Solution to Four Problems in Realism and Non-Ideal Theory.Jonathan Floyd - 2018 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-26.
Normative Behaviourism as a Solution to Four Problems in Realism and Non-Ideal Theory.Jonathan Floyd - 2020 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 23 (2):137-162.

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