Rawls’s <i>Political Liberalism</i>

Jeremy Waldron

in Law and Disagreement

Published in print March 1999 | ISBN: 9780198262138
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682308 | DOI:
Rawls’s Political Liberalism

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The chapter asks: what is the relation between disagreements of political principle and what might be called comprehensive philosophical disagreements about the good in a pluralistic society? That question is examined in this chapter with particular reference to Political Liberalism by John Rawls. It uses the phrase ‘comprehensive philosophical disagreements about the good’ as Rawls used it, to mean differences between various well-worked-out views about ultimate value or various conceptions of the nature and meaning of life. It includes, most prominently, religious disagreements; but it also includes disagreements among various secular conceptions of the good, such as hedonism, aestheticism, intellectualism, and various ethics of self-development and self-fulfilment. The chapter then asks: what is the relation between differences of these kinds and the disagreements we have in politics (and in political philosophy) concerning the fundamental principles of justice and right?

Keywords: John Rawls; Political Liberalism; self-development; self-fulfilment; hedonism; aestheticism; intellectualism

Chapter.  7147 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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