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Rawls'sbook restoredthe question of justice to its place of preeminencein the philosophicalstudy of politics and therebyinaugurateda new era not only for professorsof philosophy interested in political ideas but in political scialso for political theorists headquartered ence departments. He is the editorof the companionvolumes of Conservatismin America (HooverInstitutionPress ground.Those who did not occupy themselveswith extending or refining or criticizingRawls-those who attemptednearlyany inquiry in political philosophy not defined by the Rawlsian project-were often regardedby Rawlsiansas. he taught philosophy at Harvard for more than thirty years and from his commanding position exerteda decisive influence on his profession. They of Hoover Institution Stanford's (email@example.com sought to provide.redistributed goods to achieve a substantially more egalitariansociety. His aim in A Theoryof Justicewas to extend and refine the social contract tradition from Locke to Kant-especially Kant-and. but the complex conceptual machinery that Rawls assemblesto make the case.accordingto Rawls. tended to restrict their analysis to the use of words and their logical relaA Theory tions. constructedin accordance protected certainbasic individualrights and. when they addressedquestions about politics at all. March2006 1Vol.is not the egalitarian version of the modern welfarestate that it seeks to vindicate. Moreover. changed that.however. professors of philosophy.or any number of other difficult and divisive questions of public policy.This convergencelent credenceto the profoundly mistakennotion-reflexively embracedby many academic liberals. Rawls'sundertakingwas exceptionallyambitious. A gentle. self-effacingman.particularlythose who took to calling themselves deliberative democrats-that policy debates and progressives about how to probetween conservatives tect freedomand achieveequalitycan be decidedby abstract The reflexhas had unforreasonin favorof progressives.stanford.For example. Rawls's 1971 masterwork. at a minimum. dominant understanding more generally.of the method and purpose of the philosophical study of politics. Rather. To be sure. Bound to stand as a lasting contribution to the liberal tradition. Although Rawls himself did not draw the connection.or welfarereform. but then confused the Rawlsian researchparain America (Hoover 2004) and Varietiesof Progressivism digm and their own political agendas with the civility. was viewed as giving expression to antidemocratic sentimentsand violating the boundariesof reasonable and morally respectablediscourse. followers found in Rawls'srationalist method a justification for restrictive and selfPeterBerkowitzteaches at George Mason University School aggrandizing judgments about the proper aim and Law and is the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at boundaries of philosophical and political inquiry. What makes A Theory of usticedistinctive. his well-ordered state turned out to converge with the politicalprogramchampionedby the left wing of the Democratic Party.and deeply rooted in contemporaryliberal democracies. suspect and sometimes as not practicingpolitical theory at all.not least for the liberaltraditionthat Rawlsstroveto vindicate. more than a few fostered an environment in which disagreementwith progressiveopinion about the justice of abortion.1 tunate consequencesinside the academy. The state with justice. InstitutionPress toleration. 4/No. intoleranceof dissent and the suppression of inquiry does not represent an iron law of necessity imposed by Rawlsian principles. it is a temptation that ariseswithin and is furnishedmeans by Rawls's approach. Starting from intuitions about moralityand human naturethat he held to be austere. Before Rawls. assertedcorrectlythat to engage in reasonedargumentit Varieties was necessaryfor interlocutorsto proceed from common edu).Symposium The Ambiguities of Rawls's Influence Peter Berkowitz Rawlsis the toweringfigureof academicliberalJohn ism. in a sense.as Rawls'sfollowers rose to positions of prominence and power in the universityworld. ofJustice. Through his scholarship and teaching he played a major role in establishingthe nowof liberalismin the academyand. a rigorous deduction of the fundamentalprinciplesand institutional arrangementsof a well-orderedstate. to bring it to completion. dignified.affirmative action. and respectfor competing points of view that 2004). 1 121 . in a manner consistentwith those rights. widely-shared. in 600 highly theoreticaland densely-argued pages.
is bound up with controversialmetaphysicalnotions and a biblically grounded religiousfaith.and (b) attached to positions and offices open to all.and the elementsof "moral personality"-a sense of justice and a capacity to formulate ideas about what is good. in Rawls'sconsideredopinion. It providesthat "eachperson is to have an equal right to the most extensivebasic liberty compatThe second stipible with a similar liberty for others. many academic liberals lapsed into equating liberalismwith Rawlsianliberalism. persons behind the veil of ignoranceare deprivedof information about what is given to them in particularby society and what is give to them in particularby nature and fortune. it is a hypotheticaland nonhistoricalcondition that Rawlsconstructs to illustratethe basic principles that perfectly reasonable persons would accept if asked to design a society from scratch.wealthy."4 dateway of speakingof naturaland inalienablerightsserves as the foundation stone on which the moral and political primacyhe ascribesto individual choice rests. or friendships and family and faith. on the Historyof Moral Philosophy. only in the human condition to be morally relevant.An up-todate version of the "stateof nature"teaching."17These principles representan interpretationof the political significanceof the freedom and equality of persons."16 ulates that "social and economic inequalities are to be arrangedso that they are both (a) reasonablyexpected to be to everyone'sadvantage.Rawlsobscuresthe function of the original position and the veil of ignorancethat constitutes it.it is necessary about liberalism's grounds.18 They arebinding. Deprivingthemselves and their programs of the benefit of alternative approachesand sealing themselves and their centers off from dissenting points of view. They are forbidden knowledge of family and friends. to in the origor "consent"7 or "assent"6 speak of "choice"5 inal position as does Rawls repeatedly. the philosophically valid and the politically correct became increasinglydifficult to distinguish.Symposium | John Rawlsand the Studyof Politics ought to provide the common ground in universities. has had costs. height and weight and sex."20 Unfortunately." pose.1 Rawls calls the constraintsimposed on persons in the original position the "veil of ignorance. the original position is not a point of departurefor the collaborativediscovery of the moral foundations of politics."9 In fact. Lectures Justice in the liberaltradition. rationality. consent. academic liberals could persuadethemselvesthat they were justified in excluding from their conversations. Rawls was different.Indeed.as well as with the tendency to shut down even forms and topics of inquiry that derived sustenancefrom his thought.2 On the basis of this confusion. Rather.14 Reasoningin the originalposition gives rise to "justice as fairness. however. or ratherthe moraland political conclusions are built into the constraints. In fact. or achievements in public and private life-the original position is suffused . for Rawls."12By hiding knowledge of the attributes that distinguish one person 122 Perspectives on Politics from another. Throughout his career he confrontedquestionsabout the limits of reasonand the dependence of justice on opinions about which reasonablemen and women could differ. agreement.which enables choice among the variety of humanends. But. through use of the metaphorof discussionand debate. confacade. The exclusion. the veil of ignorance ensures that the reasoning about fair principlesfor social cooperation in the original position is not influenced by what Rawls regards as inessentialor morallyirrelevantfactors. even for the sakeof the second. to repeat.3Choice is not wide open in the originalposition an inviobecauseRawlsassumesthat "each personpossesses lability founded on justice that even the welfareof society This assumption.to say nothing of describingthe principlesof justice as emergingin the original position as "the result of a fair agreement or bargain. and Rawlsian liberalismwith political philosophy itself. or wise. To understandRawls'slegto observehow he wrested with questions acy. The paradoxcan be glimpsed in Rawls'sexposition of the "originalposition" in A Theoryof Justice.not because in common and jointly assented to out are hashed they but becausethey arereasonable. They do know that they share desireswhose satisfactionrequiresthe cooperationof others. includingfor the excluders. and whether they are healthy. Nor is it a frameworkfor the give and take of restrainedpublic debate. programs. They "arenot contingent or conditions. and centers those who did not embraceRawls as the point of departurefor moral and political thinking. nation and religious beliefs.it is a representationor modeling of common intuitions among citizens of liberal democracyabout moral and political life and a means for clarifyinginferencesthat should be drawn from them." which receivesexpressionin two principles.an up-toas a whole cannot override. for example. it is an abuse of terms to see these principlesas a resultof choice. Indeed.10 and participatory democratic leading straints built into the original position are designed to ensure the reachingof a single conclusion about the principles of justice by all who enter it. following Kant. they answerthe need for an "Archimedean They areof practicalvalue "forappraisinginstitutions and for guiding the overalldirection of social change."8 or of characterizingpersons in it as achieving is to adorn the originalposition with a mis"unanimity. as it is fashionableto say today. what is hinted at in certain recurringequivocationsand obscuritiesin his books is confirmedby the explicitanalysisof the last of his books.or."19 social desires Along present upon existing with the conception of moral personality they presuppoint.also an individual's passionsand virtues.13 And because what is universal considers Rawls.15 The firsthas priorityand may not be violated. social class and political opinions.the product of deliberation.21 Because it presupposes that what is morally worthy in human beings is the capacity for moral reasoning-and not. For them.
of speech. communitarian criticscauseda great deal of mischiefby incorrectly despitetheir suggesting.22 And therefore troversial reasonable people.the shared liberal democracies. right is prior to the good. analytic moral philosophy that it shared with Rawls. thatourvices.Rawls and the book bearshim out. in chapter or Mill'sobservations on the 3 of On Liberty lassitude disdainfor customand tradition and irrational induced Andthemoral andmetabythespiritof liberty. friendships. addition. thatalthough we oftendo not freely alsocorrectly stressed in themis animporchoose these associations. on generalideasand what he took to be theirpolitical andnot on theactual wants. not coincidentally.It is not justthatthe idea standmoralandpolitical is itselfa grandmoral of the inviolability of individuals In on grand Rawls's theorydepends judgment. with he soughtto provide Political a defense of jusLiberalism.33 In such a the support justice conception.31 His themeremained thatof the reasonable limitations on choicein a liberaldemocthat peoplewould chooseto live racy."23 without addressBurke's of the arrogance critique ing or evenmentioning in Reflections of Enlightenment rationalism on theRevolutionin France. objectivity. membership tant good that the state must respectin the processof citizensas individuals.and the socialcontract of liberalism fromwhichhe hailed. For Rawls about human psychology. they reallyaustere. significance.a fairlywide rangeof reasonable irreconcilable or comprehensive religious. which means that government's March2006 1Vol. the communitarian led astray. ticeasfairness not metaphysical. It tees. among Indeed. And it rightlyempharespecting we consider ourselves bound sizedthatin manyinstances by dutiesthatflowfromor aregivento us by the roleswe inhabit. ownimplicit commitment to individual freedom andequalto apprethelaw. example.needs. metaphysics are very much open to certainly question. on are based instead They opinionsabout psychology. and did not forsake. it affirmed certainsound sociological observations about school humanbeingsthatRawls. takeexception to the ideathat the primary taskfor academicpolitical wasto justifya left-liberal theory interpretation of American in the idiom of Rather. Rawlsonce in Political Liberalism to a again particular gave partisan of American liberalism the colorof univerinterpretation andmoralnecessity. Rawlshas not been withouthis academic critics.the bestknownof whomcameto be calledcommunitarians. Liberalism insteadrepresents an effortto resolve difficulties internal to his theory.thatit wassomehow itybefore impossible ciatethesocialsideof ournature whileremaining devoted to liberal principles. the variIndeed. Rawls triedto allaythe concerns of critics who foundthatA Theory of usticewent too far.making claims about andpolitics thatfailed comprehensive morality to respect the limitsof reason andthe claimsof tradition andfaith.contended livingin today's but ultimately Rawls. judgments thatin practice thetwoprinciples of justice"lead supposes in whichenvyand otherdestructo socialarrangements tivefeelings arenotlikelyto bestrong. despite of conservative and ety competing progressive interpretationsof liberal debated democracy vigorously beyondthe boundaries of contemporary academic life.30 A Theory two yearsafter Twenty of ustice.indeed proceeded valuesand actualagreements of people from. that Political emphasizes. didnot moralclaimsor controversial dependon comprehensive first principles. conrights fersvastlygreater benefitson tenuredprofessors than it who can'tafforda soap box.and religion-of whichwe aremembers.However. In 1993. implications expressed anddesires of his fellowcitizens. exploration enjoyment of rightsin a liberaldemocracy is necessarily relatedto the socialand economicconditionsunderwhich those areexercised.His brand of liberalism. somethoughRawls timeswieldsit as a truthof reason andtheveryessence of the moralpointof view.29 Nevertheless.tendedto underplay. What does on individuals remains afterRawlsis the extentof eminently disputable and obligation to providefor the capacity government's socialand economicbasesof equality.neighborhoods. the bestknownformof comPerhaps munitarian criticism wasessentially another formof proone thatsilentlyassumed the primacy liberalism. of the democratic Tocqueville's exploration in soul's of human excellence in envy Democracy America. thatwas"political. he maintained. amongthosewhosejob it is to underideas. moralviewscouldachieve an "overlapping in consensus" of as fairness. the supposedlyaustereassumptionsabout relies on whichRawls's arethemhumannature reasoning Nor are selvesnot secured by theory. ple. democracy.27 These flawsin the foundations do not prevent Rawls fromilluminating liberalism's and endurdeepstructure Of particular andcentral to ing imperatives.likeourvirtues are "arbitrary froma moralperspective"25 and so justify "the distribution of natural talents as a common treating in of asset"26 flies the face commonsenseandis anything butaxiomatic formorals andpolitics.or the principles if theyreasoned under Andhe continued to focus properly.32 Indeed." Conto the that his second book trary widespread perception markeda fundamental revisionin his thinking. gressive of individual andwhichdidnot challenge theredisrights 28Nordidit tributivist ofA Theory requirements ofJustice. philosophical.Rawlspublisheda majorrestatement of his views. sality. 1 123 . Freedom forexample.24 to of the critical the construction idea. 4/No.nation.it shouldbe conwith moraljudgment. physical original of Rawls's secondprincipositionand the interpretation andaccomplishments. In particular. that and morality. critique out that do It correctly human pointed beings not existin butareconstituted isolation in partby the associationsclubs and commitfamily. his derivation and application of the two principles of is his how of the worth or justice.
and stoppingthe inquiringmind deadin its tracks. comes to foreign affairsand the laws that binds nations intera progressive. that it does without.or that part reason.Symposium | John Rawlsand the Studyof Politics task is to protect people's liberty to pursue the good as they understandit. rights agenda. I think.it turns out reasonrequires international humannationalorderand an interventionist." are among equals say. affectthis conclusion. Yet the idea of public reason is not a correctionof the facadefound in A Theory falsedemocraticand participatory of it. seek a "sharedbasis of justification"that "can be uncovYet political liberalisms very ered by due reflection. In The Law of Peoples."41But in the very effort to show the real-lifeoperation of public reason.46 But the ambiguities of Rawls'sown thinking cast doubt on the proposition that the intuition that we are free and equal is itself freestanding.shutting down questioning. To be fair.Unsurprisingly. should govern citizensof a liberaldemocracyin deliberatingabout "'con36 Its stitutional essentials'and questions of basic justice. For while the purpose of public reasons is to specify principles for the conduct of public debate in a liberal state. because it does not meet public reason's minimum requirements.Rawls proceeds by assuming "threeimportant political values: the due respectfor human life.37 It is based which is exhibited "when.To avoid. and religious questions.comprehensiveclaims about the human good. under the guidance of public reason. it remainssoberingto observethat even in the hands of so conscientious and high-minded a thinker as Rawls the appealto public reasoncan serveto deny the realityof competing goods and tragicchoices and intractablequestions. Unsurprising as well is that the idea of functions once again public reason in The Law of Peoples both to declare independence from and disguise dependence on morality and metaphysics. he dispenses with argument and instead offerspersonalauthority: balanceof these threevalueswill Now I believeany reasonable give a woman a duly qualifiedrightto decidewhetheror not to The reasonfor this end her pregnancy duringthe firsttrimester."35 of that form of reason.Takingone'sstandwith reason rather than morality-especially a "reason"into moraland politicalcontent has already which considerable been poured-is a convenient way of being partial and judgmentalwhile pretending to stand above the partisan fray. given the assurancethat others will likea "willingness to accept This furtherrequires wise do so.Otherpoliticalvalues.if talliedin.39 In this constellation of notions Rawls seeks to capture the power and limits of reason's capacityto bring politics into line with justice."38 the consequencesof the burdensof judgment. the of idea public reason fails to compel or inspire Rawls to examine.Indeed.45 Rawls's"politicalconception of justice"was supposed to representa "freestanding" liberalism. The illustration. for the record.Rawls extended his reasoningabout when it justice to internationalrelations. in subsequent publications Rawls retreated from his calmlydelivereddecreethat public reasoncleanly Neverthesettles the debate over the justice of abortion. as Rawls briskly applies it to one of the most difficult and divisive issues of the day. all people's opinions are deserving of respect-that it earnestly forswearsand says. ForRawls it functions as the final arbiterof the debate.which appeared several years after his retirement.philosophical.42 Public reason.34 involves the The key innovation in PoliticalLiberalism This is the introduction of "theidea of public reason. which occursin a long footnote. or recognizea need to examine."44 quest for laws and institutions that can in principle be sharedby and justified to all is motivated not in the first about the need to gather considerations placeby prudential majority support but by the sort of universal. the orderedreproduction of politicalsociety over time.a liberalismrestcitizens'sharedintuitions on democratic liberal ing solely about the freedom and equality of persons in society. goes well beyond providing the principles for conducting public debatebetweenpro-choiceand pro-lifeopinions. In an attempt to illustrate "comprehensivedoctrines that run afoul of public reason."or recognize that citizens in a free society inevitablywill come to differentconclusionsaboutfundamental moral. in part by assistingin the provisionof those primary goods which all citizens need a share of whatevertheir understandingsof ultimate happiness. claims made on behalf of the key competing political value. "due respect for human life" in the form of the life of the fetus or unborn child." content is roughlyequivalentto the two principlesof justice that emerge out of the originalposition. it substance and force.43 less. and finally the equality of women as equal citizens. proclaiming that the pro-life view is unwelcome. on the idea of the "reasonable.persons readyto propose principles and standardsas fairtermsof cooperationand to abide by them willingly. political liberals on the internationalplane. The obscurity of its boundariesand the authority with which Rawls and his followers endow it allow it to serve as a magical incantation for use in the heat of debate-or in the leisureof scholarship-to advancepartisan causesby cutting off discussion."40Rawls himself illustrateshow easy it is to abuse the idea of public reasonby peremptorilydenying its approvalto moral and political judgments with which one disagrees. including the family in some form. comprehensive claims-by virtue of our common humanity. and states.the making of universal. it provides cover for the practice of advancing partisan political judgments as if they flowed from impartialreason.or that the determination to 124 Perspectives on Politics . would not. dealswith abortion. Or at least it lends restatement rather a ustice but of itself to fortifying the facade. the politicalvalueof the is that at this earlystageof pregnancy to give andthis rightis required equalityof women is overriding. as on the domestic plane.
it shareswith Kant. outright hostility. Any account of it that overlooksits metaphysicaland religious aspectsmisses much that is essentialto it.I think. in part to secure the conditions of freedom. individuals demanded more and more autonomy from the state-and from religion. On the other hand. to the emergenceof the liberal tradition in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in responseto the Europeanwars of religion.49 In the Lectures. in some cases unwittingly. The Lectures is basedon an extraordinary cycle of notes that Rawls regularlyrevisedfor a class on moral philosophy he taught on many occasions at Harvard between 1962 and 1991. The implication. he gives pride of to questions about moral reasoning. Rawls providesreasonsto believe that far from being the antithesisof freedom. as throughouthis writings. as reasonable beings. the very thing that rendersour respectfor the dignity of man rational.and that his text occasionally What gives a view a religiousaspect.aspectsof Kant's moralphilosothem misses phy seem obvious. But he turns to Kant with grand ambition: to make sense of the moral life as it truly is. perhaps. we are conscious of the moral law as the supremelyauthoritativeand regulativelaw for us and in our ordinarymoral thought and judgment we recognize it as such.It comes as no surprise. Yet whereasthe state and its lawmaking apparatusgrew. After much progressin freedom over several centuries. excepta good will. is that it has a it as in certain conceptionof the worldas a whole that presents The respectsholy. and how we ought to live? Such doubts have a distinguished pedigree in the liberal tradition. aspect. is that the history of moral philosophy culminates in Kant and more or less moral philosocomes to an end in the Kantian-inspired work own that Rawls's exemplifies. But in the Lectures.Why go to such an extreme? then. and they have impelled liberalsto regardreligionwith intense many contemporary if not suspicion. and in a certain March2006 1Vol. our life in the world. then what gives Kant'sview a religiousaspect is the dominantplace he gives to the morallaw in conceivingof the worlditself.let alone relion the gion.respectwhat human beings share is devoid of substantial or controversialmoral and metaphysicalpresuppositions. On the one hand. one is impelled to say of Rawls'sphilosophy something similar to what Rawls says of Kant's philosophy. life musttakea secondary valuesof secular place. and despite his extended discussions of to the hisHume and Hegel. Withoutthis. an appreciationthat the moral foundationsof liberalismarebound up with a faith in human dignity that is not entailed or guaranteedby reasonmay encouragea certainhumility. the old quarrelbetween liberalismand religion goes back to the beginning. religiousfaith of a certainsort may be the basisof our respectfor freedom. In the name of the rights of individuals.Now perhaps we see here. the very operation of reason compels us to accept the moral law.If this everyday is right. Rawls stressesKant'sview that the moral law only achievesits full justificationin the spirit of religiousfaith: Kant gives to I conclude by observingthat the significance the morallaw and our acting from it has an obvious religious has a devotionalcharacter.48 In view of how much. what we are. fissures and flaws. and in and in strivingto fashionin ourselves thatalonequalifies us to be shapingour socialworldaccordingly the finalpurposeof creation.in the energeticinterest in the varietyof ways of being human."47In other words. or even out of it. a firm good will. In fact. as Rawlsemphasizes. place in the Lectures the title's Despite suggestion that it will provide a panoramic survey. and the worlditselflose theirmeaningand point.the foundersof the liberaltradition elaboratedconstraintson religion's political authority and politics' religious authority.of the sort demonstratedin the virtueof toleration. 1 125 . Rawls exposed conflicting qualities to which the liberal spiritgives rise.any accountof it that overlooks much that is essentialto it. he emphasizesthe centralityto Kant'sphilosophy of "the fact of reason. 4/No." At firstit seemsstrangethat Kantshouldmentionthe world we ask.the demandsof autonomy increasingly reducedfaith'sdomain. As in all his writings. It is common to suppose that while liberalsmust tolerate religious faith it would be unreasonablefor them to which providessome of his professit. In the process. Rawls turns in the Lectures in of moral the narrow intertory philosophy apparently est of making sense of Kant.As the liberal idea took hold. quite consistentwith A Theory ofJustice and the books that followed. publication at the end of his careerof Lectures himthat Rawls shows (2000) Philosophy HistoryofMoral self raised such questions and found something of vital importanceat stake in how they were answered. a question remains: Is it Can one reasonably reasonable for a liberalto be religious? claim to put freedom first while also embracingon faith teachings about where we come from.Forit is in followingthe morallawas it appliesto us. If liberalism's fundamentalpremiseis not simply basedon observation or given by reason or vindicated by being shared. might it also involve faith? Might it even derive from and be nourished by religious faith? While some who follow Rawlsmight regardit as bad mannersor worse in a discussionof political theory to raisequestionsentangled with human nature and metaphysics. and ironic twists and turns in the liberalspirit. These religious. stresses and strains.even Pietist. I: "Itis impossibleto world in the firstsentenceof Groundwork conceiveanythingin the world. that can be takenas good without qualification. phy based on a His interpretationof Kant in the Lectures. or else as worthyof devotionand reverence. he should say that the step to religionis takenfor the Critique sake of the highest good and to preserveour devotion to the morallaw."This is "the fact that. that in the second why it is there. close and sympathetic reading. Rawls's prodigiousphilosophicallaborsbroughtto light. On the one hand. sheds light on Rawls's considered judgmentabout the extent to which liberalism's moral foundations are secured by reason. most searching examination of liberalism'sfoundations. of the mention of the we see the significance Now.
TJ. for example. or "delib18 When Rawls uses the terms "deliberation" erative"he generallyhas in mind not the give and take of discussion but the calm and rigor of systematic thinking. 2 Mill drawsthe crucialdistinction at the end of chapter2 of On Liberty. 18. But for those who care about understanding liberalism. 16 TJ. 140.as the Declarationof Independencesuggests. 12 Ibid. 13 TJ. 48. he suggeststhat the founding moral intuitions are all but self-evident. he holds that they reston faith. See also."50This calls to mind John StuartMill'svision of a society of sovereignindividuals.."in The WilsonQuarterly.see TJ. 122-23. 9 TJ.through the idea that a certain faith impels us to hold as self-evident the truth that all persons are by nature free and equal.Dec. 17. and "The Academic Liberal. 263-64. for example.Symposium I John Rawlsand the Studyof Politics skepticism about comprehensiveclaims about moral and political life. for example. 20 Ibid." See TJ. Spring2002... then what is most evident is the liberalismsmoral doubt abouthow preciselyto understand to pursuethe stimfoundations. 6 TJ. 19 TJ.for thosewho careaboutfreedomand equality. This is certainlynot to say that liberalismrequiresone to be religious or that religious people are more amply endowed with the liberal spirit. pp. Can the desire for distinction be satisfiedin a society in which everybodyis recognizedas a kind of aristocrat. 31."in The Weekly Standard.On the one hand. 3. See also. 14 TJ. rather than profess. And as a prac126 Perspectives on Politics ticalmatter. 28. 21. 19. 16.but derives critical support from specific forms of religious faith. 141. On the other. 17 Ibid. 41-42. 302-303. 416-24.To understandthe sourceof the liberal aspirationto an aristocracyof all. the conviction that the founding truthsof liberalismareimplicit in common sense and that judgmentsabout political institutionsand public policy are derivable by the healthy operation of human reasonmay promote a certainhubris. a more precise knowledge of its foundationsshould be welcome. 17-22.is one thing.Rawls does explain that the argumentfor the principlesof justice in the original position "aimseventuallyto be strictlydeductive. Kant'smoralphilosophy aspiresto the ideal of an "aristocracyof all. 121. 7 TJ. 13. 8 TJ. Rawlssays that In an instructivephrasein the Lectures. 2002. Particularlyintriguing is the question about foundations to which Rawls himself constantly returnedand to which he gave consistentlyconflicting indications. 136-42. See also. On the other hand. 263. 18. 3 TJ. We should strive for a kind of moral geometrywith all the rigorwhich this name connotes. Perhaps Rawls's conflictingaccountscan be reconciled. 53. ." offersa more refinedand technicalversion of both principles. It is this hubristhat one sometimes sees among those who are satisfied that those who disagreewith them on moraland political matterssufferfrom wicked or twisted minds and deserveto be segregatedinto separateintellectualcommunities. 5 TJ. 561. Notes This essayweaves together (and in places corrects)the argumentof "JohnRawls and the LiberalFaith. Confrontingthe ambiguitiesof his legacyand pursuing questions provoked but not adequatelyaddressedby his philosophizing belong to the task of conserving Rawls's achievement. 60. knowledge of the foundations of the truths about morals and politics that we have long held to be self-evidentcan contributeto our ability to cultivatethe conditions under which we can keep our grip on them firm. 60. 36-42. 12. 60-69. 136-42. 504-07. 10 Contraryto the misleadingfacadebut in keeping with the actual structureof his analysis."All three representvariations on a venerable modern theme: the harmonization of a substantial human equality with a sweepingindividualfreedom. 14-15. 15 TJ. however. 11 TJ. Rawls calls the formulationsof the two Subsequently.So it would be reasonable ulating thought that Rawls'sfreestandingliberalismis not only consistent with a varietyof religiousperspectives. 42.See TJ. The liberalin John Rawlswould have it no other way. 17. Berkowitz2003 and Berkowitz 1996. 44. 4 TJ. See.as well as the Protestant notion of a "priesthoodof all believers. For a more "provisional"formulation.as he emphasizes. for example. which he gestures at. the reasonableness of Rawlsian liberalism.Yetif good argumentscan be made on behalf of both propositions.he principlesI cite here "provisional. for example. 16.sovereign. 1 See.or priest?What are the practical effectson our heartsand minds of the conviction that each person is a supreme authority?And what are the implicationsfor politics of a form of moral reasoningthat authorizes all individuals equally to conceive of themThese aresome of the selvesas layingdown universallaws? raised by Rawls or his intriguing questions-seldom followers-that the publication of his probing classroom lecturesought to provokeamong those who wish to assess. 17-22. 584. To think through its moral and political consequences is another.
society and the virtues in PartIII of A Theory ofJustice. Sandel. 49 Consider also Rawls'sassertionthat "politicalliberalism startsby taking to heart the absolute depth of latent conflict"introducedinto the irreconcilable moral life by the Reformation. 273-74.TJ. especiallynote 80. 31 PL. xv-xvi. for example. 42 PL. 35 See PL.539-41."in LP. 4/No. 43 "The Idea of Public Reason Revisited.the "long run aim"of well-orderedsocieties "is to bring all societies eventuallyto honor the Law of Peoplesand to become full membersin good standing of the society of well-orderedpeoples. 72-75. 27 TJ. so-called "decentpeoples. 535n8. 26 TJ. And he does analysisof ressentiment. 243-44. 40 PL. In fact. 47 Lectures. 100-108. reflectsmoral judgments rooted in liberalprinciples. 169. 133-72. 23 TJ. 39 PL. 22 See. It might be objected that inasmuch as he emphaRawls resistsuniversalization sizes that peoples whose political society falls short of liberaljustice. brieflydiscuss Freud'saccount of the origin of justice in envy and jealousy.See PL. 30 Communitariancritics (as well as Rawls'sfollowers) generallygave short shrift to."See LP. for example. 1 127 . 44 LP. Yet Rawlsmakes clear that this tolerationand membershipare imperativesof liberaljustice applied to foreign policy. 19.243n32. 144. 29 See Berkowitz 1995. See PL. 25 TJ. 45 See. See LP. 36 PL. 223. Rawls'sextended discussion of family. 24 Rawls does mention without discussingNietzsche's TJ. 101. or simply ignored. 41 PL. 243n32. 8-10. 34 PL. 178-90." both the achievementof a respectableminimum and the persistenceof a defect. 260. 211.214. 131-80. 48-54. 54. 54-64. 32 PL.92-93. 38 PL.59-88. 534-41. PL. xxvi.68. Rawls supposes as well the much strongerclaim that it is reasonableto regardother persons as equal. 74. 46 PL. And the very which implies definition of a people as "decent. See also LP.clearstatement of why the original 21 For a particularly seen not as a discussion but as a should be position see derivation. March2006 | Vol. 311-12. 49. 214-20. LP. 37 PL. for example. 12. 48 Lectures. 28 See."nevertheless deservetoleration and membershipin the global "Societyof Peoples"governedby the law of peoples. 33 PL. 1981.Moreover. 160-61. 50 Lectures.
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