John Rawls

Albert Borgmann

in Real American Ethics

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780226066349
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226066356 | DOI:
John Rawls

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This chapter discusses the philosophy of John Rawls. Rawls's political ethics is truly American because it captures what is best in the soul of our body politic: the commitment to freedom, to openness, to generosity. Rawls's work also took an important step in the direction of real ethics. Rawls spelled out what may be called the social version of Churchill's principle: We shape our social institutions; afterward our social institutions shape us. Rawls saw his enterprise as a renewal and development of Kantian ethics. Not surprisingly then, Rawls's first concern was to honor and protect the dignity of every individual. This concern for the individual's dignity was spelled out in terms of the other two Kantian landmarks—equality and liberty—as the first principle of justice.

Keywords: political ethics; freedom; openness; generosity; real ethics; Kantian ethics; dignity; justice

Chapter.  2249 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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