Chapter

Political Liberalism and Contextualism

Alan Thomas

in Value and Context

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780198250173
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191604072 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198250177.003.0012
 Political Liberalism and Contextualism

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This chapter puts contextualism to work in analyzing Rawlsian liberalism. Political Liberalism marked a shift in focus in Rawls’s project from the presentation of a conception of justice and its stability to the wider question of what constituted a legitimate conception of justice for a modern society marked by a certain kind of moral pluralism. Some commentators have erroneously taken this shift to represent a revision in Rawls’s initial presentation of his conception of justice. Others have accepted that this part of the view remains unchanged while nevertheless expressing reservations as to whether the issue of legitimacy needed to be raised in the way in which Rawls raised it. It is argued that focusing on the contextualist model of justification underpinning Rawls’s view can alleviate both sources of concern.

Keywords: contextualism; John Rawls; political liberalism; political theory; justification

Chapter.  13802 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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