G.A. Cohen and the Logic of Egalitarian Congruence

Socialist Studies 8 (1):82-100 (2012)
Authors
David Rondel
University of Nevada, Reno
Abstract
In this article, I argue that G. A. Cohen’s defense of the feminist slogan, “The personal is political”, his argument against Rawls’s restriction of principles of justice to the basic structure of society, depends for its intelligibility on the ability to distinguish—with reasonable but perhaps not perfect precision—between those situations in which what Nancy Rosenblum has called “the logic of congruence” is validly invoked and those in which it is not. More importantly, I suggest that the philosophical shape of Cohen’s critique makes it difficult for him to supply the required criterion, and that the methodological “intuitionism” he claims to be committed to is at odds with his larger argument against Rawls concerning the subject of justice.
Keywords G.A. Cohen  John Rawls  Moral Division of Labor  Distributive Justice  Egalitarianism  The Basic Structure of Society
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