Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Paper on the Rawls-Habermas debate

Now available at London School of Economics's eprint:

James Gledhill:
"Procedure in Substance and Substance in Procedure: Reframing the Rawls–Habermas debate" [pdf]

Published in: J. G. Finlayson & F. Freyenhagen (eds.) - Habermas and Rawls: Disputing the Political (Routledge, 2011), pp. 181-199.

Excerpt from Habermas's comment on Gledhill's paper
"In his "Lectures on the History of Moral Philosophy", Rawls already demonstrates unmistakable sympathy for Hegel's philosophy of right because it respects the ethical rootedness of persons in the existing institutions of civil society and because it treats this embeddedness of morality in ethical life as the main focus of the theory of justice. James Gledhill chooses this perspective as the point of departure for his highly instructive comparison. He reveals a new facet of Rawls to me, for until now I had not regarded him as the better Hegelian. My reconstructive approach, which Gledhill understands quite well, originates, after all, in a Hegelian-Marxist appropriation of Kant's moral and legal philosophy; generally such an approach is supposed to be better suited to ground the political theory of justice in a social theory than strickley normative approaches. That may be true. But from such a normative point of view, Rawls's theory contains a relatively strong Hegelian element, at least according to James Gledhill's interpretation of how the "Original Position" is shaped." (Finlayson & Freyenhagen, p. 293)

James Gledhill is Fellow in Political Theory, Government Department, London School of Economics.

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