John Rawls: Debating the Major Questions
John Rawls is widely considered one of the most important political philosophers of the 20th century, and his highly original and influential works play a central role in contemporary philosophical debates. This collection of original essays explores the outpouring of scholarship and debate inspired by Rawls's political philosophy. Given the vastness of this scholarship, this volume aims to provide inroads to its central themes and preoccupations. The volume is divided into ten parts, exploring ten distinct questions, for example: Can Rawls's conception of public reason offer determinate answers to major questions of justice? Is ideal theory useful or relevant to resolving issues of justice in the nonideal world? Are libertarians correct to criticize Rawls's work for failing to prioritize economic liberty? When institutions aim at equality, what is it that they should seek to equalize--primary goods, capabilities, or welfare? For each question, there is an introductory essay, providing an overview of the relevant arguments from Rawls's work and the historical contours of the debate that ensued. Each introductory essay is followed by two essays written by scholars who take opposing positions, which move the discussion forward in a fruitful way. This volume provides readers with clear and in-depth explication of Rawls's arguments, the most important critical dialogue generated in response to those arguments, and the dialogue's significance to contemporary politics.
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