The limits of John rawls’s pluralism

Politics, Philosophy and Economics 4 (2):221-231 (2005)
Abstract
This article brings to the fore the shortcomings of the type of pluralism advocated by John Rawls both in Political Liberalism and in The Law of Peoples . It is argued that by postulating that the discrimination between what is and what is not legitimate is dictated by rationality and morality, Rawls’s approach forecloses recognition of the properly political moment. Exclusions are presented as being justified by reason and the antagonistic dimension of politics is not acknowledged. This article also takes issue with Rawls’s ‘realistic utopia’, asserting that despite the reference to ‘decent’ hierarchical societies, it amounts to a universalization of the western liberal model. Key Words: simple pluralism • reasonable pluralism • negation of the political • antagonism • agonism • public reason.
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DOI 10.1177/1470594X05052539
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