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Value and ContextThe Nature of Moral and Political Knowledge$
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Alan Thomas

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198250173

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0198250177.001.0001

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Political Liberalism and Contextualism

Political Liberalism and Contextualism

Chapter:
(p.271) 11 Political Liberalism and Contextualism
Source:
Value and Context
Author(s):

Alan Thomas (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198250177.003.0012

This chapter puts contextualism to work in analyzing Rawlsian liberalism. Political Liberalism marked a shift in focus in Rawls’s project from the presentation of a conception of justice and its stability to the wider question of what constituted a legitimate conception of justice for a modern society marked by a certain kind of moral pluralism. Some commentators have erroneously taken this shift to represent a revision in Rawls’s initial presentation of his conception of justice. Others have accepted that this part of the view remains unchanged while nevertheless expressing reservations as to whether the issue of legitimacy needed to be raised in the way in which Rawls raised it. It is argued that focusing on the contextualist model of justification underpinning Rawls’s view can alleviate both sources of concern.

Keywords:   contextualism, John Rawls, political liberalism, political theory, justification

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