Some Main Points in Rawls’ Theory of Justice

Document Type : Original Article


Professor of Philosophy, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA


An examination of some of the main ideas of John Rawls first two books, A Theory of Justice and Political Liberalism and of the relations between these ideas. Particular attention is given to the sense in which Rawls’ theory is a liberal theory, and to the relation between the rationale for Rawls’ two principles of justice and his later ideas of overlapping consensus and public reason.

In this paper I will offer an interpretation of some central features of Rawls’ theory of justice, features that are familiar but also subject to controversy. The question of how they should be understood bears on the relevance of Rawls’ theory under current conditions not only in Iran but also in the United States, where views opposed to liberalism have gained support.


Article Title [Persian]

نکات اصلیِ نظریه عدالت رالز

Author [Persian]

  • تامس مایکل اسکنلون
استاد فلسفه، دانشگاه هاروارد، کمبریج، ماساچوست، آمریکا
Abstract [Persian]

این مقاله پژوهشی است پیرامون نظریات اصلی جان رالز در دو کتاب نظریة عدالت و لیبرالیسم سیاسی و ارتباط میان آنها. در این نوشتار توجهی ویژه به مفهومی که بر اساس آن نظریه رالز به عنوان نظریه‌ای در باب آزادی محسوب می‌شود؛ همچنین ارتباط میان منطق دو اصل عدالت رالز و نظرات متأخر او در مورد همپوشانی دو مفهوم توافق عمومی و عقل جمعی، توجه شده است.

Keywords [Persian]

  • رالز
  • نظریه عدالت
  • لیبرالیسم سیاسی
Durkheim, Emile. (1973). “Individualism and the Intellectuals,” in Robert Bellah, (ed.). Emile Durkheim on Morality and Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Marx, Karl. (1978). “On the Jewish Question” in: Robert C. Tucker, (ed.). The Marx-Engels Reader, 2nd ed. New York and London: W.W. Norton. pp. 26-52.
Quinn, Philip L. (1995). “Political Liberalisms and their Exclusion of the Religious”. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 69 (2): 35-56.
Rawls, John. (1993). Political Liberalism. New York: Columbia University Press.
Rawls, John. (1999 a). A Theory of Justice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1971, rev. ed.
Rawls, John. (1999 b). Collected Papers, Samuel Freeman (ed.), Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Rawls, John. (2001). Justice as Fairness A Restatement. Erin Kelly, (ed.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Scanlon, T. M. (2003). The Difficulty of Tolerance: Essays in Political Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Scanlon, T. M. (2014). Being Realistic about Reasons. Oxford: Oxford University Press.