Rise and fall of Rawlsianism

Nintil

Enough manipulation with the definition of man, and freedom can be made to mean whatever the manipulator wishes (Matt Zwolinski)

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John Rawls (1921 – 2002) was one of the most important philosophers in the History of modern political philosophy. Robert Nozick, who is broadly considered an intellectual rival of Rawls even wrote that “political philosophers must work within Rawls’s conceptual framework or explain why they don’t”. Rawls also ended the reign of utilitarianism as the most popular moral framework in academia, reintroducing deontology – one that directly draws from Kant, no less – into intellectual discourse.

In this article, I will put forward a few problems that Rawls’s philosophical project had. The problems are severe enough to put Rawls (or, at least the early Rawls) outside of liberalism itself.

I wrote four articles about Rawls a while ago in Spanish, which you can view in the Articles section. Here I’ve…

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