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Rawls and realism

Gledhill, James (2012) Rawls and realism. Social Theory and Practice, 38 (1). pp. 55-82. ISSN 0037-802X

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Political realists like Bernard Williams and Raymond Geuss reject political moralism, where ideal ethical theory comes first, then applied principles, and politics is reduced to a kind of applied ethics. While the models of political moralism that Williams criticizes are endorsed by G.A. Cohen and Ronald Dworkin respectively, I argue that this realist case against John Rawls cannot be sustained. In explicating and defending Rawls’s realistically utopian conception of ideal theory I defend a Kantian conception of theory where it is by abstracting from immediate realities that theory is fit to guide practice by providing a framework for political judgment.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Florida State University
Divisions: Government
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2012 12:36
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:24

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