Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1995

Disciplines

Law | Law and Politics | Law and Society | Natural Law

Abstract

Political Liberalism is a major addition to the political theory of John Rawls. In many respects, it develops or alters views expressed in his famous A Theory of Justice. For changes that appeared in various articles Rawls published after the earlier book, Political Liberalism tends to offer nuances of difference. The most original chapter is about public reason, and my comments are directed to that subject, which has now become a centerpiece of Rawls's theory. I draw in Rawls's other views only as they bear on public reason.

My aim is to present some problems I see with his account. When I am unclear about how he means to deal with a difficulty, I suggest various possibilities. Once I have settled on an interpretation of Rawls, I compare that with the position I find most persuasive. This is not the occasion to provide any full account of my own views, but some readers may be encouraged to read further.

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