- Hardcover: 672 pages
- Publisher: Harvard University Press (May 30, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0674137396
- ISBN-13: 978-0674137394
- Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.5 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,796,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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From Library Journal
In 1971, Rawls published A Theory of Justice, which has come to be generally regarded as the century's major systematic work of substantive ethics and political philosophy; about 20 years later, in Political Liberalism, he examined issues arising from it. This collection includes nearly all of his published essays, beginning with the first (1951) and running to as recently as 1997 and an interview in 1998. It reveals his beginnings in utilitarianism and the dissatisfactions that led to his contractarianism and to his examination of such matters as public consensus in a pluralistic society, public reason, the compatibility of religious and comprehensive secular doctrine in a liberal society, commonality in human laws, Kant's moral philosophy, and more. These essays both clarify Rawls's thought and make significant contributions to their subject.ARobert Hoffman, York Coll., CUNY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
A nearly complete collection of Rawls's short essays from 1951 through 1998. What is arguably the most widely discussed political theory of the second half of the 20th-century emerged from an evolutionary process. By making available in one volume the papers through which Harvard philosopher Rawls initially tried out his ideas, Freeman provides easy access to the steps taken along the way. This book will be primarily useful as a reference work; few if any intrepid souls will attempt to read it cover-to-cover. Doing so, however, exposes the true nature of Rawls's achievement. As others have observed regarding A Theory of Justice, Rawls begins with an original, brilliant idea encapsulated in the principles of ``justice as fairness,'' then builds complexity around it by adding arguments that respond to objections, both anticipated and actually raised by critics. Unlike most scholars who focus on one topic throughout their careers, however, Rawls is not just repackaging the same material. He takes objections seriously and struggles to overcome them, pushing forward his thinking by developing new arguments that add depth to his original ideas rather than simply moving on to new subjects. The result has been the most sustained effort in all of Western philosophy to construct a complete theory of justice. Along the way his originality has been manifested in creations that have become part of the standard lexicon of political philosophy, including the difference principle, the maximin criterion, and most notably the veil of ignorance. What the reader will find in this volume are the starts and stops, the grappling with issues of moral philosophy, and especially later in his career, the confrontation with concerns such as religious belief that threaten the assumptions of rationality and the positive value of reasonableness upon which his vision of justice depends. A convenient and welcome compilation. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Rawls' _Collected Papers_ brings together nearly all of his major and minor shorter publications on these and related issues. Many essays explore in greater depth issues raised by critics of _A Theory of Justice_ and _Political Liberalism_, and all of them together paint a fascinating portrait of Rawls' philosophical development between 1951 and the present.