John Rawls

Edited by Shaun Young (University of Toronto, St. George Campus)
About this topic
Summary John Rawls was an American moral and political philosopher whose work has been referred to as “epoch-making” and “cataclysmic in its effect.” His theorizing was fundamentally animated by a desire to address the problem of political (in)justice in modern constitutional democracies. Rawls spent more than 50 years developing and refining a conception of justice that he believed could offer the type of governance framework necessary to manage the problem of political (in)justice effectively and, in so doing, provide for the realization of an acceptably just and stable liberal democracy.
Key works The following offer the most comprehensive articulations of Rawls' theory of justice as fairness: Rawls ms; and Rawls 1993. Rawls 1999 represents Rawls' effort to apply his theory of justice as fairness to the realm of international relations. With Rawls 2001 Rawls sought to provide an authoritative yet concise “restatement” of his conception of justice as fairness that effectively synthesizes the arguments presented in his previously published work. A wonderful compilations of Rawls' essays is contained in Rawls 1999.
Introductions Since Rawls’s death in 2002, there has arisen a veritable cottage industry dedicated to summarizing and analyzing his work and its past, present and future impact upon the disciplines of moral and political philosophy. Among the more accessible yet instructive are Pogge 2007; Freeman 2007; Lehning 2009; Graham 2006; and Talisse 2001
Related categories

2367 found
Order:
1 — 50 / 2367
  1. Outline of a Paradox of Moral Hesitation.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    In this paper, I present an outline of a paradox which is a variation on the lottery paradox and concerns whether we can ignore hesitant moral judgments.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  2. An Ancient Paradox Applied to the Difference Principle (with the Help of Cryptocurrencies).Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    John Rawls’s difference principle says that we should change our economy if doing so is better for the worst-off group, on the condition that certain basic rights are secured. This paper presents a kind of case that challenges the principle. If we modify the principle to cope with the challenge, we open the way to a Sorites paradox.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  3. Three Assumptions of Rawlsian Reflective Equilibrium.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    John Rawls recommends a reflective equilibrium method for evaluating which principles institutions should abide by. In this paper, I identify and challenge three assumptions that he makes.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  4. The Fallibility Objection to the Original Position.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    Do individuals in John Rawls’s original position take into account the fallibility of human nature? Some notable commentators on Rawls say that they do or that they should. But this enables us to say that individuals in the original position would not come to an agreement at all.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  5. Defense of Rawls: A Reply to Brock.Paul Fryfogle - manuscript
    Cosmopolitans like Gillian Brock, Charles Beitz, and Thomas Pogge argue that the principles of justice selected and arranged in lexical priority in Rawls’ first original position would—and should for the same reasons as in the first—also be selected in Rawls’ second original position. After all, the argument goes, what reasons other than morally arbitrary ones do we have for selecting a second set of principles? A different, though undoubtedly related, point of contention is the cosmopolitan charge that Rawls fails to (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  6. The Independence/Dependence Paradox Within John Rawls’s Political Liberalism.Ali Rizvi - manuscript
    Rawls in his later philosophy claims that it is sufficient to accept political conception as true or right, depending on what one's worldview allows, on the basis of whatever reasons one can muster, given one's worldview (doctrine). What political liberalism is interested in is a practical agreement on the political conception and not in our reasons for accepting it. There are deep issues (regarding deep values, purpose of life, metaphysics etc.) which cannot be resolved through invoking common reasons (this is (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  7. The Uselessness of Rawls’s “Ideal Theory”.Uwe Steinhoff - manuscript
    Over the years a few authors have argued that Rawls’s ideal theory of justice is useless for the real world. This criticism has been largely ignored by Rawlsians, but in the light of a recent accumulation of such criticisms, some authors (in particular Holly Lawford-Smith, A. John Simmons, Zofia Stemplowska and Laura Valentini) have tried to defend ideal theory. In this article I will recapitulate the precise problem with Rawls’s ideal theory, argue that some of Rawls’s defenders misconceive it, and (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  8. Rawls and Utilitarianism.Yujin Nagasawa - manuscript
    in John Rawls’ Theory of Social Justice, eds. Gene Blocker and Elizabeth Smith (Ohio University Press, 1980), pp.346-394.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  9. Does the Original Position Yield the Maximin?David Baumslag - unknown - Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 13.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  10. Rebuilding Rawls: An Alternative Theory of Justice.Leo Groarke - unknown - Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 2.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  11. Some Considerations About the Discovery of Principles of Justice.David Suits - unknown - Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 1.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  12. John Rawls Versus the Equality Monster.Phil Veldius - unknown - Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 13.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  13. Review of Jack Reynolds' "Chronopathologies: Time and Politics in Deleuze, Derrida, Analytic Philosophy, and Phenomenology". [REVIEW]Marco Altamirano - forthcoming - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews:xx-yy.
  14. John Rawls, Political Liberalism.D. Archard - forthcoming - Radical Philosophy.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  15. Patterns of Justification: On Political Liberalism and the Primacy of Public Justification.Thomas M. Besch - forthcoming - Journal of Social and Political Philosophy.
    The discussion develops the view that public justification in Rawls’s political liberalism, in one of its roles, is actualist in fully enfranchising actual reasonable citizens and fundamental in political liberalism’s order of justification. I anchor this reading in the political role Rawls accords to general reflective equilibrium, and examine in its light the relationship between public justification, pro tanto justification, political values, full justification, the wide view of public political culture and salient public reason intuitions. This leaves us with the (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  16. Autonomous Driving and Public Reason: A Rawlsian Approach.Claudia Brändle & Michael W. Schmidt - forthcoming - Philosophy and Technology:1-25.
    In this paper, we argue that solutions to normative challenges associated with autonomous driving, such as real-world trolley cases or distributions of risk in mundane driving situations, face the problem of reasonable pluralism: Reasonable pluralism refers to the fact that there exists a plurality of reasonable yet incompatible comprehensive moral doctrines within liberal democracies. The corresponding problem is that a politically acceptable solution cannot refer to only one of these comprehensive doctrines. Yet a politically adequate solution to the normative challenges (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  17. Beyond Ideal Theory: Foundations for a Critical Rawlsian Theory of Climate Justice.Paul Clements & Paul Formosa - forthcoming - New Political Science:1-20.
    Rawls’s contractualist approach to justice is well known for its adoption of ideal theory. This approach starts by setting out the political goal or ideal and leaves it to non-ideal or partial compliance theory to map out how to get there. However, Rawls’s use of ideal theory has been criticized by Sen from the right and by Mouffe from the left. We critically address these concerns in the context of developing a Rawlsian approach to climate justice. While the importance of (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  18. Original Position.Fred D'Agostino - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   6 citations  
  19. Drop Rawls?Claus Dierksmeier - forthcoming - Business Ethics, the Environment and Responsibility.
    Business Ethics, the Environment & Responsibility, EarlyView.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  20. Charlie Hebdo Meets Utility Monster.William A. Edmundson - forthcoming - The Critique.
    The Charlie Hebdo massacre in January 2015 and the subsequent attacks of November 13 cast a garish light onto a conundrum at the center of how liberal democracies understand themselves. The Syrian emigrant crisis has added further color. How can a tolerant, liberal political culture tolerate the presence of intolerant, illiberal, sub-cultures while remaining true to its principles of tolerance? The problem falls within the intersection of two developments in the thinking of John Rawls, the great American political philosopher who (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  21. Listen Libertarians!: A Review of John Tomasi's Free Market Fairness. [REVIEW]David Ellerman - forthcoming - Journal of Economic Issues.
    John Tomasi's new book, Free Market Fairness, has been well-received as "one of the very best philosophical treatments of libertarian thought, ever" and as a "long and friendly conversation between Friedrich Hayek and John Rawls—a conversation which, astonishingly, reaches agreement". The book does present an authoritative state-of-the-debate across the spectrum from right-libertarianism on the one side to high liberalism on the other side. My point is not to question where Tomasi comes down with his own version of "market democracy" as (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  22. Rawls’s Original Position and Algorithmic Fairness.Ulrik Franke - forthcoming - Philosophy and Technology:1-15.
    Modern society makes extensive use of automated algorithmic decisions, fueled by advances in artificial intelligence. However, since these systems are not perfect, questions about fairness are increasingly investigated in the literature. In particular, many authors take a Rawlsian approach to algorithmic fairness. This article aims to identify some complications with this approach: Under which circumstances can Rawls’s original position reasonably be applied to algorithmic fairness decisions? First, it is argued that there are important differences between Rawls’s original position and a (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  23. Rawls y la Cláusula Del Valor Equitativo de Las Libertades Políticas.Iñigo González Ricoy - forthcoming - Enrahonar: Quaderns de Filosofía.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  24. The Maximin Principle.John C. Harsanyi - forthcoming - Contemporary Political Theory: A Reader.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  25. Review of John Rawls's Collected Papers. [REVIEW]Thomas Hill - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  26. Rawls’ Reflective Equilibrium as a Method of Justifying Moral Beliefs.Husein Inusah & Paa Kweku Quansah - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-17.
    It is undeniable that people have beliefs about what actions are morally right. These beliefs play an important role in guiding moral action. Is it possible however to justify beliefs about what actions are morally right? How can beliefs of this sort be justified? Sinnott-Armstrong has advanced an epistemic regress argument against the justification of moral beliefs with the consequence that moral beliefs cannot be justified. This essay addresses the issue of the justification of moral beliefs to answer the question (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  27. Fortune and Fairness in Global Economic Life.Aaron James - forthcoming - New Content is Available for Journal of Moral Philosophy.
    _ Source: _Page Count 21 This paper develops John Rawls’s famous objection to the system of natural liberty as against the contemporary system of international trade. Even as “dynamic” policies have proven successful in several recent development success stories, the current system enforces a “static,” laissez-faire system of comparative advantage that threatens to consign poorly-endowed countries to a low-productivity, low-income destiny in agriculture and raw materials. I discuss two very different fairness arguments in favor of allowing and encouraging “dynamic,” pro-development (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  28. Playing Kant at the Court of King Arthur.Robert Jubb - forthcoming - Political Studies.
    This article contrasts the sense in which those whom Bernard Williams called ‘political realists’ and John Rawls are committed to the idea that political philosophy has to be distinctively political. Distinguishing the realist critique of political moralism from debates over ideal and non-ideal theory, it is argued that Rawls is more realist than many realists realise, and that realists can learn more about how to make a distinctively political vision of how our life together should be organised from his theorising, (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   16 citations  
  29. The Basic Liberties: An Essay on Analytical Specification.Stephen K. McLeod & Attila Tanyi - forthcoming - European Journal of Political Theory.
    We characterize, more precisely than before, what Rawls calls the “analytical” method of drawing up a list of basic liberties. This method employs one or more general conditions that, under any just social order whatever, putative entitlements must meet for them to be among the basic liberties encompassed, within some just social order, by Rawls’s first principle of justice (i.e., the liberty principle). We argue that the general conditions that feature in Rawls’s own account of the analytical method, which employ (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  30. Justice and Fairness: Mandating Universal Participation.Paul T. Menzel - forthcoming - Hastings Center Report.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  31. Sidgwick and Rawls on Distributive Justice and Desert.David Miller - forthcoming - Politics, Philosophy and Economics.
    This article explores, comparatively and critically, Sidgwick’s and Rawls’s reasons for rejecting desert as a principle of distributive justice. Their ethical methods, though not identical, each re...
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  32. Sidgwick and Rawls on Distributive Justice and Desert.David Miller - forthcoming - Politics, Philosophy and Economics.
    This article explores, comparatively and critically, Sidgwick’s and Rawls’s reasons for rejecting desert as a principle of distributive justice. Their ethical methods, though not identical, each re...
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  33. The Harsanyi-Rawls Debate: Political Philosophy as Decision Theory Under Uncertainty.Ramiro Ávila Peres - forthcoming - Manuscrito: Revista Internacional de Filosofía.
    Social decisions are often made under great uncertainty – in situations where political principles, and even standard subjective expected utility, do not apply smoothly. In the first section, we argue that the core of this problem lies in decision theory itself – it is about how to act when we do not have an adequate representation of the context of the action and of its possible consequences. Thus, we distinguish two criteria to complement decision theory under ignorance – Laplace’s principle (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  34. Tras John Rawls: el debate de los bienes primarios, el bienestar y la igualdad.Jesús Rodríguez - forthcoming - Revista Internacional de Filosofía Política.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  35. El igualitarismo radical de John Rawls”.Zepeda Rodríguez - forthcoming - Isegoría. Revista de Filosofía Moral y Política.
    Remove from this list  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  36. Thompson on Rawls and Practices.Ingrid Salvatore - forthcoming - Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  37. John Rawls: De “A Theory of Justice” a “Political Liberalism”.Justino López Santamaría - forthcoming - Estudios Filosóficos.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  38. The Epistemic Status of the Principles of Justice in Habermas and Rawls.Gunnar Skirbekk - forthcoming - Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Philosophica. Ethica-Aesthetica-Practica:7-14.
    The debate between Habermas and Rawls that took place in 1990s concerned how philosophy can justify the principles of justice under the conditions of pluralism of different and irreconcilable moral, philosophical, and religious doctrines. The context of the debate was mainly Rawls’ Political Liberalism and Habermas’ Between Facts and Norms as well. This paper argues that a wider geo-cultural perspective is pertinent in order to better comprehend the different justification strategies in Habermas and Rawls, concerning the principle of justice. This (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  39. Review: Erin M. Cline, Confucius, Rawls, and the Sense of Justice. [REVIEW]Sor-Hoon Tan - forthcoming - Philosophical Explorations.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  40. Rawls's Conception of Autonomy.Anthony Taylor - forthcoming - In The Routledge Handbook of Autonomy.
    This chapter sets out John Rawls’s conception of autonomy and considers the role that it plays in his thought across A Theory of Justice and Political Liberalism. I suggest that one distinctive but overlooked feature of this conception is that it takes seriously the threat to autonomy that arises from how individuals are shaped by their social and political institutions. After setting out this conception and tracing its connections to wider discussions of autonomy, I argue for two main conclusions. First, (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  41. Testing Pragmatic Genealogy in Political Theory: The Curious Case of John Rawls.Francesco Testini - forthcoming - Sage Publications: European Journal of Political Theory.
    European Journal of Political Theory, Ahead of Print. Starting from the ‘Dewey Lectures’, Rawls presents his conception of justice within a contextualist framework, as an elaboration of the basic ideas embedded in the political culture of liberal-democratic societies. But how are these basic ideas to be justified? In this article, I reconstruct and criticize Rawls’s strategy to answer this question. I explore an alternative strategy, consisting of a genealogical argument of a pragmatic kind – the kind of argument provided by (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  42. Rawls E Il Rule of Law.Francesco Viola - forthcoming - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia Del Diritto.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  43. Public Reason Liberalism and Sex-Neutral Marriage.Greg Walker - forthcoming - Ratio Juris.
    This article, forthcoming in the international legal philosophy journal Ratio Juris, responds to an article by Francis J. Beckwith arguing that the consistent application of liberal principles requires that same-sex marriage not be recognised in civil law. This response demonstrates that Beckwith’s article contains a series of interpretative and substantive flaws that render his argument unsuccessful. These relate to a misinterpretation of core liberal principles and a sidestepping of the matter of undue bias against same-sex partners. In correcting these flaws (...)
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  44. Let God and Rawls Be Friends: On the Cooperation Between the Political Liberal Government and Religious Schools in Civic Education.Baldwin Wong - forthcoming - Journal of Applied Philosophy.
    Journal of Applied Philosophy, EarlyView.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  45. Rawls: Reticent Socialist.Matthew Adams - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (3):653-655.
    Rawls: Reticent Socialist. By EdmundsonWilliam A. ).
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  46. The Habermas/Rawls debate.Kenneth Baynes - 2021 - Contemporary Political Theory 20 (3):140-143.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  47. The Just Savings Principle.Eric Brandstedt - 2021 - The Oxford Handbook of Intergenerational Ethics.
    This chapter situates John Rawls’ just savings principle in a discussion about how much a nation-state should save. The main question addressed is whether this principle is a viable alternative to the dominant utilitarian theory of optimal growth. Rawls certainly gives savings a different aim (i.e., to create and maintain just institutions) and introduces additional permissibility conditions on reaching this goal (i.e., the necessary burdens should be fairly shared between generations). He thereby gives rise to the field of research now (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  48. Una interpretación equilibrada de la posición original de Rawls.Jorge Crego - 2021 - Anales de la Cátedra Francisco Suárez 55:183-208.
    The aim of the present paper is to offer an interpretation of the Rawlsian original position coherent with its own theory of justice. An evaluation of the aforementioned mechanism is presented. Afterwards, in light of it, a solution of the existing overlapping between its elements is offered. The solution is to consider the formal constraints as «partial conclusions», excluding them from the original position. The original position, as an «intermediate stage» aimed at representing the philosophical foundations of Rawls's theory in (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  49. Habermas on Rawls and the Normative Foundations of Democracy.Krzysztof Kędziora - 2021 - European Journal of Social Theory 24 (4):545-561.
    The debate between Jürgen Habermas and John Rawls concerns the question of how to do political philosophy under conditions of cultural pluralism, if the aim of political philosophy is to uncover the normative foundation of a modern liberal democracy. Rawls’s political liberalism tries to bypass the problem of pluralism, using the intellectual device of the veil of ignorance, and yet paradoxically at the same time it treats it as something given and as an arbiter of justification within the political conception (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  50. The Virtues of Economic Rescue Legislation: Distributive Justice, Civil Law, and the Troubled Asset Relief Program.Henry S. Kuo - 2021 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 8 (1):305-329.
    This study constitutes an ethical analysis through the lens of distributive justice in the case of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which was enacted in the midst of the Great Recession of 2007–2009. It begins by engaging with the visions of justice constructed by John Rawls and Robert Nozick, using their insights to locate the injustices of TARP according to their moral imaginations. However, this study argues that Rawls’ and Nozick’s theories of justice primarily envision the nature of law (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
1 — 50 / 2367