9 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Theories of Justice,
This review is from: Political Liberalism (John Dewey Essays in Philosophy) (Paperback)
Rawls' 1971 'A Theory of Justice' changed 20th century political thought. This book modifies his initial discussion somewhat, partly in light of criticism. For example, he no longer describes a social contract between 'heads of households' and makes a more explicit attempt to include women.
The centre of his argument, however, is that a stable society needs a reasonable 'overlapping consenses' on values. He puts forward an argument for justice that is 'political, not metaphysical' and argues for state neutrality between competing conceptions of the good (rejecting his 'comprehensive doctrine').
Any follow-up to A Theory of Justice from Rawls is bound to be important and influential, and for that reason I recommend it. I only give 3* because I didn't find it as interesting as A Theory of Justice or think it corrected all the faults with his system. Indeed his notion of a neutral political liberalism seems as flawed as his Original Position.