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John Rawls: The Path to a Theory of Justice
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Andrius Galisanka
John Rawls: The Path to a Theory of Justice by Andrius Galisanka at Abbey's Bookshop,

John Rawls: The Path to a Theory of Justice

Andrius Galisanka


Harvard Uni.Press Academi

Biography: general;
Analytical philosophy & Logical Positivism;
Popular philosophy;
Political science & theory;
Conservatism & right-of-centre democratic ideologies


224 pages

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An engaging account of the titan of political philosophy and the development of his most important work, A Theory of Justice, coming at a moment when its ideas are sorely needed.

It is hard to overestimate the influence of John Rawls on political philosophy and theory over the last half-century. His books have sold millions of copies worldwide, and he is one of the few philosophers whose work is known in the corridors of power as well as in the halls of academe. Rawls is most famous for the development of his view of justice as fairness, articulated most forcefully in his best-known work, A Theory of Justice. In it he develops a liberalism focused on improving the fate of the least advantaged, and attempts to demonstrate that, despite our differences, agreement on basic political institutions is both possible and achievable.

Critics have maintained that Rawls's view is unrealistic and ultimately undemocratic. In this incisive new intellectual biography, Andrius Galisanka argues that in misunderstanding the origins and development of Rawls's central argument, previous narratives fail to explain the novelty of his philosophical approach and so misunderstand the political vision he made prevalent. Galisanka draws on newly available archives of Rawls's unpublished essays and personal papers to clarify the justifications Rawls offered for his assumption of basic moral agreement. Galisanka's intellectual-historical approach reveals a philosopher struggling toward humbler claims than critics allege.

To engage with Rawls's search for agreement is particularly valuable at this political juncture. By providing insight into the origins, aims, and arguments of A Theory of Justice, Galisanka's John Rawls will allow us to consider the philosopher's most important and influential work with fresh eyes.

By:   Andrius Galisanka
Imprint:   Harvard Uni.Press Academi
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 156mm, 
ISBN:   9780674976474
ISBN 10:   0674976479
Pages:   224
Publication Date:   May 2019
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Unspecified

Andrius Galisanka is a scholar of twentieth-century political thought, especially that of John Rawls and Ludwig Wittgenstein. He is an Assistant Professor at Wake Forest University, where he teaches courses on contemporary political theory and the history of political thought.

This compelling intellectual biography of John Rawls--which makes extensive use of the philosopher's archives--has a great many virtues. Andrius Galisanka documents how Rawls's commitment to respect for persons originating from his brand of Protestantism, in addition to his persistent search for what follows from considered judgments, made possible a classic of our time.--Samuel Moyn, Yale University Drawing on important new archival materials, Andrius Galisanka has written a landmark study of one of the giants of twentieth-century political philosophy. Powerfully highlighted by the author's deep research and judicious analysis, this will be a crucial volume for intellectual historians, political theorists, and philosophers who engage with Rawls, and of broad interest to those seeking to understand the origins and implications of his theory of justice.--Angus Burgin, Johns Hopkins University John Rawls's influence on moral and political philosophy is difficult to overstate. His books and articles have been intensely studied since the appearance of A Theory of Justice in 1971. But even those familiar with Rawls's work may know little about how painstakingly he rehearsed his arguments prior to publication. Andrius Galisanka presents a careful study of everything Rawls wrote in the thirty years leading up to A Theory of Justice, with findings welcome even by Rawls experts. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the intellectual development of the twentieth century's most important moral and political thinker.--Paul Weithman, University of Notre Dame This book is a pathbreaking achievement. Drawing extensively on John Rawls's private papers and integrating them expertly with the published writings, Andrius Galisanka develops a new and striking account of Rawls's intellectual development from his college years to the publication of A Theory of Justice. It is certain to change our understanding of the core motivations and ultimate aims of one of the greatest political philosophers of all time.--Charles Larmore, Brown University

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