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'Liberal Justice: Political and Metaphysical'

Richard Bellamy

University College London - Department of Political Science; European University Institute

Martin Hollis

affiliation not provided to SSRN


Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 45, pp. 1-19, 1995

This paper addresses two related doubts about trying to turn metaphysical water into political wine in the manner attempted by John Rawls in his Political Liberalism. First, there are rival non-metaphysical theories of justice on offer and, in weakening his conception of the self, freedom and equality, Rawls may have let himself be fatally squeezed between libertarian writers like F. A. Hayek and left of centre liberals like Ronald Dworkin. Secondly, his theory, in common with those of other philosophical liberals, is curiously unpolitical. He deliberately excludes the haggling and trading of interests and the contingencies of power, characteristic of political agreements, from the rational deliberations that he believes ought to motivate the parties in a democratic society to arrive at his two principles of justice.

Keywords: Rawls, Liberalism, Justice

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Date posted: September 10, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Bellamy, Richard and Hollis, Martin, 'Liberal Justice: Political and Metaphysical' (1995). Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 45, pp. 1-19, 1995. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1674407

Contact Information

Richard Bellamy (Contact Author)
University College London - Department of Political Science ( email )
Gower Street
United Kingdom
020 7679 4980 (Phone)
020 7679 4969 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/spp/people/richard-bellamy
European University Institute ( email )
Via dei Roccettini, 9
San Domenico di Fiesole (FI), Tuscany 50014
HOME PAGE: http://www.eui.eu/ProgrammesAndFellowships/MaxWeberProgramme/People/RichardBellamywebpage.aspx
Martin Hollis
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
Feedback to SSRN

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