Contexts of Justice: Political Philosophy beyond Liberalism and Communitarianism

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Contexts of Justice, highly acclaimed when it was published in Germany, provides a significant new contribution to the important debate between communitarianism and liberalism. Rainer Forst argues for a theory of "contexts of justice" that leads beyond the narrow confines of this debate as it has been understood until now and posits the possibility of a new conception of social and political justice. Bringing refreshing clarity to a complex topic, Forst investigates the vast literature on liberalism and communitarianism. He discusses in detail the work of communitarians such as Sandel, MacIntyre, Taylor, and Walzer and liberals such as Rawls, Dworkin, and Raz; examines recent debates about discursive democracy and feminist critiques of liberalism; and addresses such topics as multiculturalism and civil society. This provocative book will be invigorating reading for political theorists working in the tradition of critical theory, for liberal and communitarian theorists, and for philosophers and others interested in the future of democratic institutions.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Rainer Forst is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Philosophy, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Liberalism, Communitarianism, and the Question of Justice 3
1 The Constitution of the Self 6
1.1 The Critique of the "Unencumbered Self" 8
1.2 Ethical Person and Legal Person 16
2 The Ethical Neutrality of Law 30
2.1 Liberalism and Neutrality 31
2.2 Individual Rights and Autonomy as a Good 48
2.3 General Law and Particular Identities 68
2.4 Basic Individual Rights 80
3 The Ethos of Democracy 88
3.1 Modus Vivendi and Overlapping Consensus 90
3.2 Substantivist and Republican Communitarianism 100
3.3 Civil Society and Deliberative Democracy 112
3.4 Citizenship and Social Justice 137
4 Universalism and Contextualism 154
4.1 A Contextualist Universalism 157
4.2 Constructivism and Practical Reason 173
4.3 Which Person? Whose Reason? 200
4.4 Ethical Universalism and Modern Identity 213
5 Contexts of Justice 230
5.1 Justice and the Good 231
5.2 Contexts of Justification 241
5.3 Contexts of Recognition 275
Notes 293
Bibliography 309
Index 335
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