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John Rawls: Reticent Socialist
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This book is the first detailed reconstruction of the late work of John Rawls, who was perhaps the most influential philosopher of the twentieth century. Rawls's 1971 treatise, A Theory of Justice, stimulated an outpouring of commentary on 'justice-as-fairness,' his conception of justice for an ideal, self-contained, modern political society. Most of that commentary took Rawls to be defending welfare-state capitalism as found in Western Europe and the United States. Far less attention has been given to Rawls's 2001 book, Justice as Fairness: A Restatement. In the Restatement, Rawls not only substantially reformulates the 'original position' argument for the two principles of justice-as-fairness but also repudiates capitalist regimes as possible embodiments. Edmundson further develops Rawls's non-ideal theory, which guides us when we find ourselves in a society that falls well short of justice.


'Edmundson has written an admirably concise yet powerful book.'

Nick Cowen Source: The Review of Politics

'John Rawls: Reticent Socialist is a valuable contribution to the debate about which social institutions best allow us to treat each other as moral equals.'

Nick Cowen Source: The Review of Politics

‘It is one of the greatest merits of William Edmundson’s analysis in John Rawls: Reticent Socialist to unambiguously bring out Rawls’s profound hostility to a capitalist society characterized by both economic exploitation and political domination, where those with more money and resources can undermine the fair value of political liberties by exerting disproportionate influence on political processes that further entrench their accumulated advantage.’

Lea Ypi Source: Catalyst

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