Irene Vanini
Università degli Studi di Milano
The article goes through the critical analysis of the rawlsian concept of original position, expressed by Habermas in 1995. Habermasian remarks on the original position aim to undermine the justifiability of such a concept as fundamental to the whole political theory. In fact, it is supposed to substitute the procedures of democratic deliberation with a well thought-out construction belonging uniquely to the theoretician. According to Habermas, substantive outcomes of procedures must be left out from political theory, whose task is to set a standard for the best possible procedures, meaning a democratic framework in which all opinions and beliefs take part to the decision. Rawls approves the critique since from his point of view, no procedure is able to avoid the inclusion of some substantive contents. On such assumption he twists to Habermasian theory the same remarks, observing that it avoids substantive assumptions at political level, embodying them at the epistemic one. As a result, the article raises some issues about the desirability and feasibility of both theories, even considering which interpretation of the role of political philosophy they imply.
Keywords Rawls  Habermas  original position
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