The implicit assumptions of dividing a cake: Political or comprehensive? [Book Review]

Human Studies 27 (3):307-334 (2004)

Abstract
Rawls''s recent modification of his theory of justice claims that political liberalism is free-standing and falls under the category of the political. It works entirely within that domain and does not rely on anything outside it In this article I pursue the metatheoretical goal of obtaining insight into the anthropological assumptions that have remained so far unacknowledged by Rawls and critics alike. My argument is that political liberalism has a dependence on comprehensive liberalism and its conception of a self-serving subjectivity that is far more binding as well as undesirable than it has been so far acknowledged. I proceed with a heuristic approach that introduces us to the possibility that political liberalism presupposes tacitly the Occidental metanarrative of reason harnessing rampant self-interest and subordinating it to a higher-order interest. As the presuppositions of political liberalism emerge, I draw from the debate between Rawls and Habermas in order to illustrate my argument for the existence of a dependence on these presuppositions. I outline some implications of the anthropological basis of political liberalism and conclude by exemplifying them with reference to Rawls''s comments on the division of a cake.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Modern Philosophy   Philosophy of the Social Sciences   Political Philosophy   Sociolinguistics
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DOI 10.1023/B:HUMA.0000042128.34634.b6
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References found in this work BETA

Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action.David M. Rasmussen - 1993 - Philosophical Quarterly 43 (173):571.
Knowledge and Human Interests.Jürgen Habermas - 1978 - Heinemann Educational.
Kantian Constructivism in Moral Theory.John Rawls - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy 77 (9):515-572.

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Citations of this work BETA

Rawls' Theory of Justice and Citizenship Education.Marianna Papastephanou - 2005 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 39 (3):499–518.

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The Coherence of Rawls's Plea for Democratic Equality.Percy B. Lehning - 1998 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 1 (4):1-41.

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