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Essays in Jurisprudence and Philosophy$
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H. L. A. Hart

Print publication date: 1983

Print ISBN-13: 9780198253884

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198253884.001.0001

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Rawls on Liberty and Its Priority

Rawls on Liberty and Its Priority

Chapter:
(p.223) Essay 10 Rawls on Liberty and Its Priority
Source:
Essays in Jurisprudence and Philosophy
Author(s):

H. L. A. Hart

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198253884.003.0011

This chapter considers John Rawls' account of the relationship between justice and liberty, and in particular it looks at his idea that justice requires that liberty may only be limited for the sake of liberty and not for the sake of other social and economic advantages. It is assumed that the main features of Rawls' A Theory of Justice are familiar to most, but for those to whom it is not, an account is provided in this chapter. The chapter also describes the principle that basic liberties may be limited only for the sake of liberty. In addition, it addresses the question of whether the principle of limiting liberty only for the sake of liberty provides adequately restrictions on conduct which cause pain or unhappiness to others by methods other than by constraining liberty of action. The chapter closes by explaining a difficulty which is found in the main argument which Rawls uses to show that the priority of liberty prohibiting exchanges of liberty for economic or other social advantages must be included among the requirements of justice.

Keywords:   John Rawls, liberty, justice, A Theory of Justice

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