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John Rawls was arguably the most important political philosopher of the 20th century. Barely a word of political philosophy is written today that is not indebted in some way to the philosophical paradigm that Rawls bequeathed. "Rawls Explained" sets out the thinker's complex arguments in a way that makes them accessible to first-time readers of his hugely influential work. Both clear in its exposition of Rawls' ideas and true to the complex purposes of his arguments, this book also attends to the variety of objections that have been made to them. The book is divided into three parts corresponding to the three books that form the core of Rawls's theory: "A Theory of Justice, ""Political Liberalism, " and "The Law of Peoples." Each section of the book ends with a survey of some of the main criticisms of the arguments coupled with Rawls's strongest counterarguments.
This book argues for moral contractarianism, the view that moral justification rests on the idea of agreement. It critically appraises the views of contemporary contractarians such as John Rawls, David Gauthier, and Thomas Scanlon. It argues for a theory of moral justification that is based on a hypothetical agreement of restricted scope between strangers in the circumstances of justice and that is bound by historical place and circumstance.
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