John Rawls on Individualism - Dictionary of Arguments
Gaus I 94
Individualism/Rawls/SandelVsRawls/Communitarianism/Waldron: (...) the individualism of Rawls’s thin theory drew criticism from communitarian philosophers, who repudiated the implicit assumption that individual plans of life are chosen by persons unencumbered by prior commitments and allegiances. Those who thought of themselves as essentially members of a particular family or community or people might find it hard to accept a theory of justice oriented at foundational level to the well-being of persons conceived as liberated from all such attachments (Sandel, 1982)(1).
Diversity/inhomogeneity/society/Rawls: ‘[H]ow is it possible,’ Rawls asked, ‘for there to exist over time a just and stable society of free and equal citizens who remain profoundly divided by reasonable religious, philosophical, and moral doctrines?’ (1993(2): 4). In the introduction to Political Liberalism, he argued that this could no longer be achieved by convincing everyone of the ethical and philosophical premises on which a comprehensive liberal theory of justice might be founded. Instead Rawlsian justice would now have to be presented as something that could command support from a variety of ethical perspectives.
Question: how many of the substantive principles and doctrines of A Theory of Justice would survive this new approach?
Rawls described (...) diversity as a social fact - a permanent feature of modern society. Human life engages multiple values and it is natural that people will disagree about how to balance or prioritize them.
Gaus I 95
However, not all dissensus is regarded as reasonable.
Problem: Waldron: Unfortunately, as Rawls uses it, the term ‘reasonable’ is ambiguous (...). >Reason/Rawls.
(1) Sandel, Michael (1982) Liberalism and the Limits of Justice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
(2) Rawls, John (1993) Political Liberalism. New York: Columbia University Press.
Waldron, Jeremy 2004. „Liberalism, Political and Comprehensive“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications._____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
A Theory of Justice: Original Edition Oxford 2005
Gerald F. Gaus
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004