Rawls, Dewey, and Constructivism
On the Epistemology of Justice
by Eric Thomas Weber
(Continuum, August 2010)
In "Rawls, Dewey, and Constructivism", Eric Weber examines and critiques John Rawls' epistemology and the unresolved tension - inherited from Kant - between Representationalism and Constructivism in Rawls' work.
Weber argues that, despite Rawls' claims to be a constructivist, his unexplored Kantian influences cause several problems. In particular, Weber criticises Rawls' failure to explain the origins of conceptions of justice, his understanding of "persons" and his revival of Social Contract Theory. Drawing on the work of John Dewey to resolve these problems, the book argues for a rigorously constructivist approach to the concept of justice and explores the practical implications of such an approach for Education.
Contents [preview of chapter 1-5] [chapter 1-2]
2. Social Contract Theory, Old and New
3. Worlds Apart: On Moral Realism and Two Constructivisms
4. Freedom and Phenomenal Persons
5. Rawls’s Epistemological Tension: The Original Position, Reflective Equilibrium, and Objectivity
6. Dewey and Rawls on Education
Eric Thomas Weber is Assistant Professor of Public Policy Leadership at the University of Mississippi.
The book is the first publication in the new Continuum Studies in Political Philosophy series.