Rawlsian Explorations in Religion and Applied Philosophy
To probe the underlying premises of a liberal political order, John Rawls felt obliged to use a philosophical method that abstracted from many of the details of ordinary life. But this very abstraction became a point of criticism, as it left unclear the implications of his theory for public policies and life in the real political world. Rawlsian Explorations in Religion and Applied Philosophy attempts to ferret out those implications, filling the gap between Rawls’s own empyrean heights and the really practical public policy proposals made by government planners, lobbyists, and legislators. Among the topics examined are natural rights, the morality of war, the treatment of mentally deficient humans and nonhuman sentient creatures, the controversies over legacy and affirmative action in college admissions, and the place of religious belief in a democratic society. The final chapter explores how Rawls’s own religious beliefs, as revealed in two works posthumously published in 2009, played into his formulation of his theory of justice.
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