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Title: "A Theory of Justice" as Rorschach Test
Authors: Gledhill, James
Keywords: John RawlsA Theory of Justicejusticeliberalismpolitical philosophyBrian Barry
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: James Gledhill, "'A Theory of Justice' as Rorschach Test" in: "Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2021) XXIII/3", EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, Trieste, 2021, pp. 85-114
Journal: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics 
Series/Report no.: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
This article takes up Brian Barry’s suggestion that ‘Somebody could write an article on “A Theory of Justice as Rorschach Test”’. Turning Barry’s suggestion back onto his own work, and that of other influential interpreters who shaped the reception of Rawls in analytic political philosophy, it argues that these readers approached Theory with preconceived notions of the methods of analytic philosophy and the nature of a liberal theory. Whether as largely sympathetic or critical readers, they found in Theory the articulation of a liberal individualist political ideology resting on Kantian moral foundations that provided philosophical support for the capitalist welfare state. But alongside this dominant line of interpretation, one can also unearth a counter-narrative. If one allows one’s preconceived notions of what a liberal theory in the analytic tradition should look like to be challenged, an alternative picture of Rawls can emerge. On this alternative view, Rawls has a holistic approach to justification with roots in post-analytic philosophy and the tradition of German idealism and his theory takes forward an idealist tradition of thought that stretched from Rousseau, Kant and Hegel up to Bernard Bosanquet.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
DOI: 10.13137/1825-5167/33980
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internazionale
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2021) XXIII/3

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