Completing Rawls's arguments for equal political liberty and its fair value: the argument from self-respect

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (2):179-205 (2013)

Meena Krishnamurthy
Queen's University
Despite the vast literature on Rawls's work, few have discussed his arguments for the value of democracy. When his arguments have been discussed, they have received staunch criticism. Some critics have charged that Rawls's arguments are not deeply democratic. Others have gone further, claiming that Rawls's arguments denigrate democracy. These criticisms are unsurprising, since Rawls's arguments, as arguments that the principle of equal basic liberty needs to include democratic liberties, are incomplete. In contrast to his trenchant remarks about core civil liberties, Rawls does not say much about the inclusion of political liberties of a democratic sort – such as the right to vote – among the basic liberties. -/- In this paper, I complete some of Rawls's arguments and show that he has grounds for including political liberties, particularly those of a democratic nature, in the principle of equal basic liberty. In doing so, I make some beginning steps toward illustrating the genuinely democratic nature of Rawls's arguments. Rawls believes that a few different arguments can be given for democratic institutions and that these arguments work together to support the value of democracy. In this paper, I focus on Rawls's arguments relating to self-respect. I focus on this set of arguments because they are among the strongest of Rawls's arguments for equal political liberty and its fair value.
Keywords democracy  political liberty  fair value  John Rawls
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DOI 10.1080/00455091.2013.816177
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References found in this work BETA

Justice as Fairness: A Restatement.John Rawls - 2001 - Harvard University Press.
Justice as Fairness: A Restatement.C. L. Ten - 2001 - Mind 112 (447):563-566.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Political Liberalism.Stephen Mulhall - 1994 - Philosophical Quarterly 44 (177):542-545.

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Citations of this work BETA

Nonideal Justice as Nonideal Fairness.Marcus Arvan - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (2):208-228.
Shared Intentions, Public Reason, and Political Autonomy.Blain Neufeld - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (6):776-804.
Freedom, Money and Justice as Fairness.Blain Neufeld - 2017 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 16 (1):70-92.
Real Self-Respect and its Social Bases.Christian Schemmel - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (5):628-651.

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