Political Liberalism / Edition 2

Paperback (Print)
Rent from BN.com
(Save 67%)
Est. Return Date: 08/28/2015
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $6.00
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 77%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (27) from $6.00   
  • New (13) from $16.70   
  • Used (14) from $6.00   


This book continues and revises the ideas of justice as fairness that John Rawls presented in A Theory of Justice but changes its philosophical interpretation in a fundamental way. That previous work assumed what Rawls calls a "well-ordered society," one that is stable and relatively homogenous in its basic moral beliefs and in which there is broad agreement about what constitutes the good life. Yet in modern democratic society a plurality of incompatible and irreconcilable doctrines--religious, philosophical, and moral--coexist within the framework of democratic institutions. Recognizing this as a permanent condition of democracy, Rawls asks how a stable and just society of free and equal citizens can live in concord when divided by reasonable but incompatible doctrines?

This edition includes the essay "The Idea of Public Reason Revisited," which outlines Rawls' plans to revise Political Liberalism, which were cut short by his death.

"An extraordinary well-reasoned commentary on A Theory of Justice...a decisive turn towards political philosophy."

--Times Literary Supplement

Columbia University Press

A Theory of Justice established Harvard professor John Rawls as one of the most influential political philosophers writing today. While continuing and revising the idea of justice as fairness, Rawls now changes Justice's philosophical interpretation of a homogenous moral society to one with a plurality of incompatible doctrines.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement
An extraordinary well-reasoned commentary on A Theory of Justice. . . . a decisive turn towards political philosophy, as opposed to normative philosophizing on public affairs.
Rawls (philosophy, Harvard) presents eight lectures on the basic elements of political liberalism, its three main ideas, and the institutional framework, continuing and revising the idea of justice as fairness as presented in his earlier work, A Theory of Justice (1971). He redefines a well-ordered society, no longer seeing it as united in its basic moral beliefs, but in its political conception of justice. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231130899
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 3/17/2005
  • Series: Columbia Classics in Philosophy Series
  • Edition description: second edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 500,504
  • Product dimensions: 8.06 (w) x 8.76 (h) x 1.21 (d)

Meet the Author

The late John Rawls was professor emeritus of philosophy at Harvard University. His other books include The Law of Peoples with "The Idea of Public Reason Revisited" and Justice as Fairness: A Restatement. Martha Nussbaum is Ernest Freund Distinguished Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago. She is the author of many books, including Sex and Social Justice, Love's Knowledge, and Hiding from Humanity.

Columbia University Press

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

IntroductionIntroduction to the Paperback EditionPART ONE Political Liberalism: Basic Elements Lecture I. Fundamental IdeasAddressing Two Fundamental QuestionsThe Idea of a Political Conception of JusticeThe Idea of Society as a Fair System of CooperationThe Idea of the Original PositionThe Political Conception of the PersonThe Idea of a Well-Ordered SocietyNeither a Community nor an AssociationThe Use of Abstract ConceptionsLecture II. The Powers of Citizens and Their RepresentationThe Reasonable and the RationalThe Burdens of JudgementReasonable Comprehensive DoctrinesThe Publicity Condition: Its Three LevelsRational Autonomy: Artificial not PoliticalFull Autonomy: Political not EthicalThe Basis of Motivation in the PersonMoral Psychology: Philosophical not PsychologicalLecture III. Political ConstructivismThe Idea of a Constructivist ConceptionKant's Moral ConstructivismJustice as Fairness as a Constructivist ViewThe Role of Conceptions of Society and PersonThree Conceptions of ObjectivityObjectivity Independent of the Casual View of KnowledgeWhen Do Objective Reasons Exist, Politically Speaking?The Scope of Political ConstructivismPART TWO Political Liberalism: Three Main Ideas Lecture IV. The Idea of an Overlapping ConsensusHow is Political Liberalism Possible?The Question of StabilityThree Features of an Overlapping ConsensusAn Overlapping Consensus not Indifferent or SkepticalA Political Conception Need Not Be ComprehensiveSteps to Constitutional ConsensusSteps to Overlapping ConsensusConception and Doctrines: How RelatedLecture V. Priority of Right and Ideas of the GoodHow a Political Conception Limits Conceptions of the GoodGoodness as RationalityPrimary Goods and Interpersonal ComparisonsPrimary Goods as Citizens' NeedPermissible Conceptions of the Good and Political VirtuesIs Justice as Fairness Fair to Conceptions of the Good?The Good of Political SocietyThat Justice as Fairness is CompleteLecture VI. The Idea of Public ReasonThe Question and Forums of Public RightPublic Reason and the Ideal of Democratic CitizenshipNonpublic ReasonsThe Content of Public ReasonThe Ideal of Constitutional EssentialsThe Supreme Court as Exemplar of Public ReasonApparent Difficulties with Public ReasonThe Limits of Public ReasonPART THREE Institutional Framework Lecture VII.The Basic Structure as SubjectFirst Subject of JusticeUnity by Appropriate SequenceLibertarianism Has No Special Role for the Basic StructureThe Importance of Background JusticeHow the Basic Structure Affects IndividualsInitial Agreement as Hypothetical and NonhistoricalSpecial Features of the Initial AgreementThe Social Nature of Human RelationshipsIdeal Form for the Basic StructureReply to Hegel's CriticismLecture VIII. The Basic Liberties and Their PriorityThe Initial Aim of Justice as FairnessThe Special Status of Basic LibertiesConceptions of Person and Social CooperationThe Original PositionPriority of Liberties, I: Second Moral PowerPriority of Liberties, II: First Moral PowerBasic Liberties not Merely FormalA Fully Adequate Scheme of Basic LibertiesHow Liberties Fit into One Coherent SchemeFree Political SpeechThe Clear and Present Danger RuleMaintaining the Fair Value of Political LibertiesLiberties Connected with the Second PrincipleThe Role of Justice as FairnessLecture IX. Reply to HabermasTwo Main DifferencesOverlapping Consensus and JustificationLiberties of the Moderns Versus the Will of the PeopleThe Roots of the LibertiesProcedural Versus Substantive JusticeConclusion

Columbia University Press

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)