Philosophy and Social Criticism 32 (2):173-191 (2006)
An interpretation of John Rawls justice as fairness as a deliberative critical argumentative strategy for evaluating existing institutions is offered and its plausibility is discussed. I argue that justice as fairness aims at synthesizing the moral values claimed by existing social institutions into a coherent model of a well-ordered society in order to demand that these institutions stand up to the values that they promise. Understood in such a way, justice as fairness provides a set of idealizing mirrors through which power dynamics in society can be viewed but does not function as a model for an ideal society. Key Words: distributive justice immanent criticism justice as fairness political liberalism public reason John Rawls reflective equilibrium.
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