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Political Liberalism (John Dewey Essays in Philosophy) Paperback – 12 Aug 1996
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"An extraordinary well-reasoned commentary on "A Theory of Justice..".. a decisive turn towards political philosophy, as opposed to normative philosophizing on public affairs." -- "Times Literary Supplement"
About 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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
A theory of justice set the scene for a liberal revival in 70's but this book is about reflecting on the criticisms he received and incorporating them once agian into a logical and systematic progression of thoguht. The failrue of some is to think that this is supposed to BE Liberalism - this misses the point all liberal thinkers are merely contributions to a ever modified debate. A more radical view would be to counter the notion of progressive history and suggest that this firmly shifts the basis for Liberal thoguht.
This book is imperotant becasue it allows Liberalism to carry on - We have this much to be thankful for.
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.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
A Reasonable Society is contrasted by Rawls to that of a Rational Society. While on the surface these two concepts appear to be indistinguishable, they are in fact a good deal different.
A Rational Society is one that is predicated upon logic as its defining concept. A Reasonable Society on the other hand goes beyond this narrower concept of society and adds the idea of man posing a kind of morality in addition to his rational pre-disposition.
Rawls theory as presented in Political Liberalism" is well written and tightly argued in the best tradition of both modern and ancient philosophers. With "Political Liberalism" Rawls take the theories of some our greatest political philosophers and makes a significant contribution to extending their work.
This book is so well written, it can be read and enjoyed by just about anyone. If you ever wondered why or democratic institutions no longer seem to work, where the politics of conflict seem the only realty, when you want to know what makes this country so unique and which holds such promise for the rest of the world, you will see these concepts in a engaging read.
The inclusion of his 'Reply to Habermas', after my having also read Habermas' critique, helped him and specially me to understand the issues raised in that exchange and to enjoy following them. The inclusion also of 'The Idea of Public Reason Revisited' is very worthwhile, as it maps out the amendments he had started to make to Political Liberalism that had been cut short by his death.
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