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Rawlsian Liberalism & Justice (PH344-15)

Programme content

John Rawls was one of the foremost philosophers of the 20th century and the most influential political philosopher of the last decades. This course will examine in depth his contribution to the question of distributional justice. We will then see how other political philosophers have responded to Rawl’s conception of justice as fairness, including the seminal work of Robert Nozick, G.A. Cohen, Ronald Dworkin, and others. By the end of the module you should have a good grasp of the main aspects of Rawls’s viewpoint and how that outlook has shaped the field of contemporary political philosophy.

Topics covered

The following is a list of topics for this module in the 2015/16 academic year; precise seminar content may change from year to year.

  • Rawls’s Justice as Fairness: Main Ideas
  • Rawls Continued: The Argument from the Original Position
  • Nozick’s Objections to Rawls, and Nozick’s Entitlement Theory
  • Cohen’s Egalitarian Objection to Rawls, and an Outline of Analytical Marxism
  • Rawls, Left Libertarianism and Basic Income
  • Equality of Welfare and Equality of Resources
  • Luck Egalitarianism and Rawls
  • Rawlsian Liberalism and the Family
  • Liberty, Equality and Cultural Security
Timing and CATS

This modue runs in the Spring Term and is worth 15 CATS.