The Place of Rawls in Political and Ethical Theory

Metaphilosophy 44 (1-2):37-41 (2013)

Authors
Jon Mandle
State University of New York, Albany
Abstract
The work of John Rawls is central to contemporary political philosophy. A Theory of Justice provides a model for the justification of substantive principles of justice, and it defends principles that reject utilitarianism. Ultimately, justification is a matter of what the participants in a relationship or an institution can justify to one another. Unlike utilitarianism, which assumes that there is one good that it is the job of morality to maximize, Rawls holds that there are multiple conceptions of the good associated with different individuals. Furthermore, he holds that there are multiple principles of morality associated with different relationships and institutions. His principles of justice are designed for one of these—the basic structure of society. They establish a moral minimum that all members of a society owe to one another, but additional principles are required to govern other special relationships
Keywords Kant  pluralism  Rawls  ethics  utilitarianism  justice  political philosophy
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DOI 10.1111/meta.12002
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