Moral Psychology, Stability and the Law of Peoples
37 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2016 Last revised: 2 Sep 2017
Date Written: March 4, 2017
In this paper I take seriously Rawls’s characterization of his The Law of Peoples as carrying forward the project of Political Liberalism. The latter articulates Rawls’s reworking of the stability argument from Part III of A Theory of Justice to better square it with the permanent fact of reasonable doctrinal pluralism under conditions of freedom and right. As presented in Theory the stability argument is an argument from moral psychology. This moral psychology structures the problem generated by doctrinal pluralism in both Political Liberalism and The Law of Peoples, each of which sets out a consistent principled liberal response to it, the former in the domestic, and the latter in the international, context. Bringing this moral psychology to the surface sheds considerable light on Rawls’s attempt to vindicate the possibility of world hospitable to enduring just and stable constitutional liberal democracies governed by legitimate law.
Keywords: Rawls, International Justice, Stability, Moral Development, Liberal Toleration
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