Justice as Fairness: A Restatement

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, 2001 - Philosophy - 214 pages
28 Reviews

This book originated as lectures for a course on political philosophy that Rawls taught regularly at Harvard in the 1980s. In time the lectures became a restatement of his theory of justice as fairness, revised in light of his more recent papers and his treatise Political Liberalism (1993). As Rawls writes in the preface, the restatement presents "in one place an account of justice as fairness as I now see it, drawing on all [my previous] works." He offers a broad overview of his main lines of thought and also explores specific issues never before addressed in any of his writings.

Rawls is well aware that since the publication of A Theory of Justice in 1971, American society has moved farther away from the idea of justice as fairness. Yet his ideas retain their power and relevance to debates in a pluralistic society about the meaning and theoretical viability of liberalism. This book demonstrates that moral clarity can be achieved even when a collective commitment to justice is uncertain.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
9
4 stars
11
3 stars
8
2 stars
0
1 star
0

Review: Justice as Fairness: A Restatement

User Review  - Conrad - Goodreads

I think it is possible, IMHO, to read "Justice as Fairness: A Restatement" as an introduction to John Rawls' body of work in political philosophy. Given the relatively brief book's foundation on his ... Read full review

Review: Justice as Fairness: A Restatement

User Review  - Alexandra Sundarsingh - Goodreads

Difficult, but worthwhile, even if I'm not sure he's completely right - or wrong for that matter. A very empathetic and rational view of political life and culture. Read full review

Contents

I
1
II
5
III
8
IV
10
V
12
VI
14
VII
18
VIII
24
XXXII
111
XXXIII
115
XXXIV
119
XXXV
120
XXXVI
122
XXXVII
124
XXXVIII
126
XXXIX
130

IX
26
X
29
XI
32
XII
39
XIII
42
XIV
50
XV
52
XVI
55
XVII
57
XVIII
61
XIX
66
XX
72
XXI
74
XXII
77
XXIII
80
XXIV
84
XXV
85
XXVI
89
XXVII
94
XXVIII
97
XXIX
101
XXX
104
XXXI
106
XL
132
XLI
135
XLII
138
XLIII
140
XLIV
145
XLV
148
XLVI
150
XLVII
153
XLVIII
157
XLIX
158
L
162
LI
168
LII
176
LIII
179
LIV
180
LV
184
LVI
188
LVII
189
LVIII
192
LIX
195
LX
198
LXI
203
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2001)

John Rawls, professor of philosophy at Harvard University, had published a number of articles on the concept of justice as fairness before the appearance of his magnum opus, A Theory of Justice (1971). While the articles had won for Rawls considerable prestige, the reception of his book thrust him into the front ranks of contemporary moral philosophy. Presenting a Kantian alternative to conventional utilitarianism and intuitionism, Rawls offers a theory of justice that is contractual and that rests on principles that he alleges would be accepted by free, rational persons in a state of nature, that is, of equality. The chorus of praise was loud and clear. Stuart Hampshire acclaimed the book as "the most substantial and interesting contribution to moral philosophy since the war."H. A. Bedau declared: "As a work of close and original scholarship in the service of the dominant moral and political ideology of our civilization, Rawls's treatise is simply without a rival." Rawls historically achieved two important things: (1) He articulated a coherent moral philosophy for the welfare state, and (2) he demonstrated that analytic philosophy was most capable of doing constructive work in moral philosophy. A Theory of Justice has become the most influential work in political, legal, and social philosophy by an American author in the twentieth century.

Erin Kelly is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University.

Bibliographic information