Political Liberalism

Front Cover
Columbia University Press, 2005 - Philosophy - 525 pages
12 Reviews

This book continues and revises the ideas of justice as fairness that John Rawls presented in A Theory of Justice but changes its philosophical interpretation in a fundamental way. That previous work assumed what Rawls calls a "well-ordered society," one that is stable and relatively homogenous in its basic moral beliefs and in which there is broad agreement about what constitutes the good life. Yet in modern democratic society a plurality of incompatible and irreconcilable doctrines -- religious, philosophical, and moral -- coexist within the framework of democratic institutions. Recognizing this as a permanent condition of democracy, Rawls asks how a stable and just society of free and equal citizens can live in concord when divided by reasonable but incompatible doctrines?

This edition includes the essay "The Idea of Public Reason Revisited," which outlines Rawls' plans to revise Political Liberalism, which were cut short by his death.

"An extraordinary well-reasoned commentary on A Theory of Justice...a decisive turn towards political philosophy."

-- Times Literary Supplement

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Review: Political Liberalism (Columbia Classics in Philosophy)

User Review  - Dave Peticolas - Goodreads

Rawl's account of the possibility of a stable and just society in the presence of 'reasonable pluralism' -- the existence of mutually incompatible but reasonable compresensive doctrines. Read full review

Review: Political Liberalism (Columbia Classics in Philosophy)

User Review  - Richard Cai - Goodreads

A good model for "Realistic Utopian" society, somewhat undermines my Libertarian tradition, but still difficult to practice because few people have public reason Read full review

References to this book

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Amartya Sen
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About the author (2005)

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.