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Rawl's Political Ontology

28 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2004  

Philip N. Pettit

Princeton University - Department of Political Science; Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS)

Abstract

The background thesis is that an implicit ontology of the people and the relation between the people and the state often shapes how we think in normative terms about politics. The paper attempts to defend that thesis in relation to Rawls. The argument is that the rejection of an image of the people as a group agent connects with his objection to utilitarianism, and the rejection of an image of the people as a mere aggregate connects with his objection to libertarianism. Rawls, it is argued, holds by an in-between picture and it is this that explains many of his most distinctive commitments.

Suggested Citation

Pettit, Philip N., Rawl's Political Ontology. Politics, Philosophy & Economics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=600704

Philip Pettit (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1012
United States
609-258-4759 (Phone)
609-258-1110 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.princeton.edu/~ppettit/

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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