Rawls on Liberty, Duty, and Obligation

Peter Liddel

in Civic Obligation and Individual Liberty in Ancient Athens

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780199226580
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191710186 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs

 Rawls on Liberty, Duty, and Obligation

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Rawls' model of liberty might be used to elucidate the kind of liberty that existed in the ancient Greek city‐state. After a general introduction to Rawls, his thought, and the ideas that inform his well‐ordered society (2.1‐6), this chapter sets out the most pertinent aspects of his principal works, A Theory of Justice and Political Liberalism (2.7‐14). Liberty (which consists of individual liberty and political liberty) is given priority among the principles of justice, so that the aim of Rawls' ideal society is the most extensive and equal liberty possible. Liberty is defined as a certain structure of institutions, a certain system of public rules defining rights and requirements (which consist of obligations and duties and are closely linked to a notion of participation). Equality is less important than liberty as the effects of inequality can either be nullified or even turned to the advantage of the common benefit.

Keywords: liberty; individual liberty; political liberty; justice; equality; inequality; participation; rights; duties; obligations

Chapter.  13168 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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