Skip to main content

Black History Month: Select Books 30% Off

Harvard University Press - home
Justice as Fairness

Justice as Fairness

A Restatement

John Rawls

Edited by Erin I. Kelly

ISBN 9780674005112

Publication date: 05/16/2001

Request exam copy

This book originated as lectures for a course on political philosophy that Rawls taught regularly at Harvard in the 1980s. In time the lectures became a restatement of his theory of justice as fairness, revised in light of his more recent papers and his treatise Political Liberalism (1993). As Rawls writes in the preface, the restatement presents "in one place an account of justice as fairness as I now see it, drawing on all [my previous] works." He offers a broad overview of his main lines of thought and also explores specific issues never before addressed in any of his writings.

Rawls is well aware that since the publication of A Theory of Justice in 1971, American society has moved farther away from the idea of justice as fairness. Yet his ideas retain their power and relevance to debates in a pluralistic society about the meaning and theoretical viability of liberalism. This book demonstrates that moral clarity can be achieved even when a collective commitment to justice is uncertain.

Praise

  • Justice as Fairness is a concise, self-contained, and up to date presentation of Rawls' views...While Justice as Fairness does not present any theoretical departures from Political Liberalism, it deals with important topics Rawls never fully addressed before such as Marx's critique of liberalism and the moral short-comings of welfare state capitalism...Rawls' long-time readers will also be pleased to find that Justice as Fairness includes careful replies to Sandel, Sen, Okin and other critics on issues ranging from health care to the legal status of gender differences.

    —Robert Briscoe, Boston Book Review

Authors

  • John Rawls was James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University. He was recipient of the 1999 National Humanities Medal.
  • Erin Kelly is Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University.

Book Details

  • 240 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Belknap Press

From this author

Recommendations