Philosophy Faculty Publications

Title

Rawls, Associations, and the Political Conception of Justice

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-1997

Publication Source

Journal of Social Philosophy

Abstract

Political philosophers do not say much about associations. Some have valued associations greatly,’ but rarely do we read a theory of associations which assigns them a function in the social structure. In Political Liberalism Rawls places associations within the nonpolitical background culture rather than in the public, political culture, and does not consider them part of the basic structure of society. In this paper I will argue that associations should be considered part of the basic structure, first, by describing the roles and functions associations have in democratic societies, and second, by explaining how in Rawls’ well-ordered society associations would serve crucial roles in sustaining stability. I will then explain how placing associations in the basic structure makes central distinctions in Rawls’ theory untenable.

Inclusive pages

31–42

ISBN/ISSN

0047-2786

Comments

Permission documentation is on file.

Publisher

John Wiley & Sons

Volume

28

Issue

3

Peer Reviewed

yes