Rawlsian Explorations in Religion and Applied Philosophy
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: Penn State University Press
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One of the most common criticisms of John Rawls’s political philosophy is that it is ‘‘too abstract.’’ Sometimes this criticism is leveled against Rawls by those who lack the time or training to work through his admittedly diffiicult writings. But at other times it is used by scholars who are bothered by the distance between Rawlsian theory and the actual political ...
1. Rawls, Natural Rights, and the Process of Reflective Equilibrium
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Nicholas Wolterstorff ’s Justice: Rights and Wrongs (2008) was hailed, on its dust jacket, by one notable critic as the most important work on the subject since Rawls’s Theory of Justice in 1971. Quite a compliment! Wolterstorff ’s extremely interesting comments on Rawls raise important questions for how we should interpret Rawls’s work. Specifically, Wolterstorff ...
2. A Rawlsian View of War
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The purpose of this chapter is to explicate Rawls’s views on war as they are scattered across several of his writings. That they are so scattered perhaps accounts for the paucity of scholarly attention paid to Rawls’s view of war, which has, for the most part, remained consistent over the decades. Three general positions are possible regarding the morality of war: ...
3. Nussbaum, Mental Disability, and Animal Entitlements: A Rawlsian Perspective
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In several of Martha Nussbaum’s recent writings she has expanded her concern for those historically left out of the male-dominated social contract (e.g., women, the mentally disabled) to include nonhuman animals (hereafter animals). Her own approach to animal entitlements is called ‘‘the capabilities approach,’’ which both borrows from and rejects certain ...
4. A Rawlsian Critique of Legacy and Affirmative Action
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In 1999 it came to light that the person who was to become president of the United States was a ‘‘C’’ student and had undistinguished scores on standardized tests (Mayer and Robbins 1999). How then did George W. Bush get admitted to Yale and then to Harvard? The answer apparently has to do with certain ‘‘legacy’’ considerations, namely, the consideration...
5. "All for the Greater Glory of God": Was Saint Ignatius Irrational?
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Given the voluminous commentary on Rawls’s classic A Theory of Justice, it is surprising that interesting arguments in that work have been left largely untouched. Section 83, ‘‘Happiness and Dominant Ends,’’ is one that has yet to receive the attention it deserves, though it has not been entirely ignored. In conversations with various scholars, I have learned ...
6. Rawlsian Religion
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Between 1890 and the mid-twentieth century, liberal theology was the dominant force in the field. It is therefore quite ironic that when Rawls, the greatest liberal thinker since Mill, wrote his senior undergraduate thesis in Princeton’s philosophy department in 1942, but on a topic in theology, he defended a view that was heavily influenced by the neoorthodox ...
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Publication Year: 2011