Philosophia 40 (2):213-222 (2012)

Kevin Gray
Université Laval
In this paper, I consider the difficult relationship between Rawls, religion and the values that religious believers might consider important in order to lead the good life. Contrary to many of Rawls’ defenders, I argue that at least some of the values that religious citizens are likely to hold cannot be accounted for under Rawls’ theory or under his conception of the good life. I argue that the model of goods which Rawls takes to be part of a thin theory of the good is tied to his belief that under the Original Position justice can be derived from calculations of self-interest alone. To perform my critique, I consider the paradigmatic case of honour in so-called traditional societies. I argue that the way Rawls thematizes primary goods in A Theory of Justice , including concepts like esteem, cannot account for the way honour manifests itself inside traditional communities. I conclude the paper by considering how Rawls might be able to defend his theory against my objection, by considering the relationship between Rawls’ theory, and the rationalization and secularization of society.
Keywords Rawls  Honour  Religion  Habermas  Original Position
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-011-9347-0
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References found in this work BETA

Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Philosophy and the Human Sciences.Charles Taylor - 1985 - Cambridge University Press.
Liberalism and the Limits of Justice.Michael Sandel - 2003 - In Derek Matravers & Jonathan E. Pike (eds.), Journal of Philosophy. Routledge, in Association with the Open University. pp. 336-343.

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