Rawlsian Stability

Res Publica 22 (3):285-299 (2016)
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Despite great advances in recent scholarship on the political philosophy of John Rawls, Rawls’s conception of stability is not fully appreciated. This essay aims to remedy this by articulating a more complete understanding of stability and its role in Rawls’s theory of justice. I argue that even in A Theory of Justice Rawls maintains that within liberal democratic constitutionalism judgments of relative stability typically adjudicate decisively among conceptions of justice and is committed to more deeply than to the substantive content of justice as fairness. This essay thus emphasizes the continuity of Rawls’s thought over time and motivates the position that Rawlsian stability is as philosophically significant and distinctively Rawlsian as justice as fairness itself.



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Jon Garthoff
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Citations of this work

Rawlsian Anti-Capitalism and Left Solidarity.Jon Garthoff - forthcoming - Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche.
In defense of voting method publicity.Aylon Manor - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
A treatise of human nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 2003 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Ernest Campbell Mossner.
A treatise of human nature.David Hume & D. G. C. Macnabb (eds.) - 1951 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications.

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