Though the revised edition of A Theory of Justice, published in 1999, is the definitive statement of Rawls's view, so much of the extensive literature on Rawls's theory refers to the first edition. This reissue makes the first edition once again available for scholars and serious students of Rawls's work.
John Rawls's A Theory of Justice, first published in 1971, is arguably the most important work of moral and political philosophy of the twentieth century. A staple on undergraduate courses in political theory, it is a classic text in which Rawls makes an astonishing contribution to political and moral thought Rawls's 'A Theory of Justice': A Reader's Guide offers a concise and accessible introduction to this hugely important and challenging work. Written specifically to meet the needs of students coming to Rawls for the first time, the book offers guidance on: - Philosophical and historical context - Key themes - Reading the text - Reception and influence - Further reading
First published in 1975, this collection includes many of the best critical responses to John Rawls' A Theory of Justice, and the editor has elected to reissue the book without making any substitutions. As he argues in his new preface, the variety of issues raise in the original papers has been a major part of the book's appeal. He also acknowledges that no modest revision of this book could pretend to respond adequately to the considerable elaboration and evolution of Rawls' theory in the last fifteen years. Political philosophy has been one of the most exciting areas of philosophical activity in the years since A Theory of Justice, and much of that activity has been a response to Rawls' work. In his preface, the editor suggests how some of the insights and criticisms contained in the collection have had a bearing on developments in Rawls' theory and in political philosophy more generally, and that fresh reading of each of them reveals additional important points that have not yet received adequate attention. The contributors are: Benjamin Barber, Norman Daniels, Gerald Dworkin, Ronald Dworkin, Joel Feinberg, Milton Fisk, R.M. Hare, H.L.A. Hart, David Lyons, Frank Michelman, Richard Miller, Thomas Nagel, T.M. Scanlon, and A.K. Sen.
What is social justice? In Theories of Justice Brian Barry provides a systematic and detailed analysis of two kinds of answers. One is that justice arises from a sense of the advantage to everyone of having constraints on the pursuit of self-interest. The other answer connects the idea of justice with that of impartiality. Though the first book of a trilogy, Theories of Justice stands alone and constitutes a major contribution to the debate about social justice that began in 1971 with Rawls's A Theory of Justice.
This book originated as lectures for a course on political philosophy that Rawls taught regularly at Harvard in the 1980s. In time the lectures became a restatement of his theory of justice as fairness, revised in light of his more recent papers and his treatise Political Liberalism (1993). As Rawls writes in the preface, the restatement presents "in one place an account of justice as fairness as I now see it, drawing on all [my previous] works." He offers a broad overview of his main lines of thought and also explores specific issues never before addressed in any of his writings. Rawls is well aware that since the publication of A Theory of Justice in 1971, American society has moved farther away from the idea of justice as fairness. Yet his ideas retain their power and relevance to debates in a pluralistic society about the meaning and theoretical viability of liberalism. This book demonstrates that moral clarity can be achieved even when a collective commitment to justice is uncertain.
John Rawls' work on justice has perhaps drawn more commentary and aroused wider attention than any other work in moral or political philosophy in the 20th century. Some of these essays articulate views distinct from those in his books.
This is a short, accessible introduction to John Rawls' thought and gives a thorough and concise presentation of the main outlines of Rawls' theory as well as drawing links between Rawls' enterprise and other important positions in moral and political philosophy.
John Rawls' A Theory of Justice has been influential in philosophy, political theory, welfare economics and jurisprudence. This book is thought to be the first full-length study of Rawls' work. It provides a concise account of Rawls' central ideas, situates them within contemporary debates, and submits them to critical scrutiny.