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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.
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