Cover: John Rawls: The Path to a Theory of Justice, from Harvard University PressCover: John Rawls in HARDCOVER

John Rawls

The Path to a Theory of Justice

Add to Cart

Product Details


$48.00 • £38.95 • €43.00

ISBN 9780674976474

Publication Date: 05/01/2019


272 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


Gališanka tracks the development of Rawls’s philosophical work as it evolved from his early inquiries into theology and the roots of evil to his secular justification for distributive justice… Leaves us with a compelling account of Rawls’s evolution and reminds us how philosophically rigorous the justification of Rawlsian high liberalism is.—Seyla Benhabib, The Nation

Scholars of the work of liberal academic political theorist John Rawls will find this book highly useful.Choice

This book is a pathbreaking achievement. Drawing extensively on John Rawls’s private papers and integrating them expertly with the published writings, Andrius Gališanka develops a new and striking account of Rawls’s intellectual development from his college years to the publication of A Theory of Justice. It is certain to change our understanding of the core motivations and ultimate aims of one of the greatest political philosophers of all time.—Charles Larmore, Brown University

Drawing on important new archival materials, Andrius Gališanka has written a landmark study of one of the giants of twentieth-century political philosophy. Powerfully highlighted by the author’s deep research and judicious analysis, this will be a crucial volume for intellectual historians, political theorists, and philosophers who engage with Rawls, and of broad interest to those seeking to understand the origins and implications of his theory of justice.—Angus Burgin, Johns Hopkins University

John Rawls’s influence on moral and political philosophy is difficult to overstate. His books and articles have been intensely studied since the appearance of A Theory of Justice in 1971. But even those familiar with Rawls’s work may know little about how painstakingly he rehearsed his arguments prior to publication. Andrius Gališanka presents a careful study of everything Rawls wrote in the thirty years leading up to A Theory of Justice, with findings welcome even by Rawls experts. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the intellectual development of the twentieth century’s most important moral and political thinker.—Paul Weithman, University of Notre Dame

This compelling intellectual biography of John Rawls—which makes extensive use of the philosopher’s archives—has a great many virtues. Andrius Gališanka documents how Rawls’s commitment to respect for persons originating from his brand of Protestantism, in addition to his persistent search for what follows from considered judgments, made possible a classic of our time.—Samuel Moyn, Yale University

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Cover: A Theory of Justice: Original Edition, by John Rawls, from Harvard University Press

John Rawls: Speaking in a Shared Political Language

On the occasion of the anniversary of the publication of A Theory of Justice, Andrius Gališanka, author of John Rawls: The Path to a Theory of Justice, reflects on some of Rawls’s ideas on moral and political reasoning