Thursday, April 28, 2011

Charles Taylor on his life and thought (podcasts)

From CBC Radio, 5 interviews with Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor:

"The Malaise of Modernity"
[streaming & podcasts - 4½ hours!]

David Cayley surveys Charles Taylor's thought in a series of extended conversations.

Charles Taylor is Professor Emeritus of McGill University, Montreal. He is the author of "A Secular Age" (Harvard University Press, 2007).

(Thanks to theorieblog for the pointer.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Recent and forthcoming books on Habermas

Habermas: An Intellectual Biography
(Cambridge University Press, 2010)

Habermas: Introduction and Analysis
(Cornell University Press, 2010)

Rawls and Habermas: Reason, Pluralism, and the Claims of Political Philosophy
(Stanford University Press, 2010)

Habermas and Rawls: Disputing the Political
(Routledge, 2011)

Jürgen Habermas: Key Concepts
(Acumen, 2011)

Habermas and Theology
(Continuum, 2011)

Habermas: The Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy
(Stanford University Press, May 2011)

Mimesis and Reason: Habermas' Political Philosophy
(State University of New York Press, July 2011)

Jürgen Habermas vol. 1-2
(Ashgate, August 2011)

Perfecting Justice in Rawls, Habermas and Honneth
(Continuum, December 2011)

Habermas and Religion
(Polity Press, forthcoming 2012)

(Routledge, forthcoming 2012)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Papers on Human Rights and on Comparative Assessments of Justice

Two new papers by Pablo Gilabert (Concordia University):

1. Humanist and Political Perspectives on Human Rights [pdf]
(Forthcoming in Political Theory)

This paper explores the relation between two perspectives on the nature of human rights. According to the “political” or “practical” perspective, human rights are claims that individuals have against certain institutional structures, in particular modern states, in virtue of interests they have as members of them. According to the more traditional “humanist” or “naturalist” perspective, human rights are pre-institutional claims that individuals have against all other individuals in virtue of interests characteristic of their common humanity This paper argues that once we identify the two perspectives in their best light we can see that they are complementary and that in fact we need both to make good normative sense of the contemporary practice of human rights. It explains how humanist and political considerations can and should work in tandem to account for the nature, content and justification of human rights.

2. Comparative Assessments of Justice, Political Feasibility, and Ideal Theory [pdf]
(Forthcoming in Ethical Theory and Moral Practice)

What should our theorizing about social justice aim at? Many political philosophers think that a crucial goal is to identify a perfectly just society. Amartya Sen disagrees. In The Idea of Justice, he argues that the proper goal of an inquiry about justice is to undertake comparative assessments of feasible social scenarios in order to identify reforms that involve justice-enhancement, or injustice-reduction, even if the results fall short of perfect justice. Sen calls this the “comparative approach” to the theory of justice. He urges its adoption on the basis of a sustained critique of the former approach, which he calls “transcendental.” In this paper I pursue two tasks, one critical and the other constructive. First, I argue that Sen’s account of the contrast between the transcendental and the comparative approaches is not convincing, and second, I suggest what I take to be a broader and more plausible account of comparative assessments of justice. The core claim is that political philosophers should not shy away from the pursuit of ambitious theories of justice (including, for example, ideal theories of perfect justice), although they should engage in careful consideration of issues of political feasibility bearing on their practical implementation.

Pablo Gilabert is Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy, Concordia University, Montreal.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Review of Rawls's "Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy"

Review article by Michael L. Frazer (Harvard):

The Modest Professor: Interpretive Charity and Interpretive Humility in John Rawls’s Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy [pdf]
(Published in "The European Journal of Political Theory" vol. 9. no. 2, 2010).

"Given the extraordinary level of his philosophical achievements, John Rawls was by all accounts a remarkably modest man. Those who knew him personally recall Rawls’s humil­ity as perhaps his most characteristic trait. [....] Steven B. Smith has even argued that Rawls’s "very modesty and lack of speculative curiosity are what exclude him from the ranks of the great philosophers". [....] This essay will focus, not on the role that Rawls’s modesty played in the presentation of his own ideas, but on the role it plays in his interpretations of the other canonical texts under examination in his Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy. It argues that the personal virtue of humility stands in a complicated relationship with the preeminent hermeneutic virtue of interpretive charity: the principle (which Rawls repeatedly, explicitly endorses throughout his Lectures) that a text must always be read in its intellectually strongest form. Sometimes, interpretive charity is taken to imply that a text ought merely to be read in its most consistent form. Yet while this approach has the benefit of charitably reconstructing a text’s meaning without appeal to any standards outside the work itself, mere consistency is neither necessary nor sufficient for philosophical excellence."

Michael L. Frazer is Assistant Professor at the Department of Government, Harvard University. He is the author of "The Enlightenment of Sympathy: Justice and the Moral Sentiments in the Eighteenth Century and Today" (Oxford University Press, 2010).

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Neues Buch über Richard Rorty

Pragmatismus als Kulturpolitik
Beiträge zum Werk Richard Rortys

Hrsg. von Alexander Gröschner & Mike Sandbothe

(Suhrkamp Verlag, 2011)

252 Seiten


Richard Rorty (1931–2007) gehört zu den prägenden Denkern des 20. Jahrhunderts, hat einflußreiche Beiträge zur Auflösung der Grundprobleme der modernen Philosophie geleistet und dem Begriff des Pragmatismus eine kulturpolitische Bedeutung gegeben. Der Band versammelt namhafte Wegbegleiter Rortys sowie international renommierte Philosophen und Kulturwissenschaftler, die Rortys intellektuelle Entwicklung nachzeichnen und zeigen, wie lebensnah Philosophie sein kann, wenn sie sich kulturpolitisch versteht. Dabei geht es auch um aktuelle Themen wie das Verhältnis zur Natur, den respektvollen Umgang mit Kindern und Fragen der Staatsangehörigkeit, der Interkulturalität und der Körperlichkeit. Mit Beiträgen u. a. von Barry Allen, Robert Brandom, Jürgen Habermas, Claus Leggewie, Alasdair MacIntyre, Saskia Sassen und Richard Shusterman.

Inhalt (pdf)

Alexander Gröschner und Mike Sandbothe

I. Rortys Denkweg

Robert Brandom
Ein Gedankenbogen

Jürgen Habermas
»…And to define America, her athletic democracy«.
(in English here).

Alasdair MacIntyre
Richard Rortys Vermächtnis

Richard Bernstein
Richard Rortys tiefer Humanismus

Bjørn Torgrim Ramberg
Um seiner eigenen Generation willen

II. Pragmatismus als Kulturpolitik

Richard Shusterman
Pragmatismus und Kulturpolitik
[in English here]

Barry Allen
Die Kulturpolitik nichtmenschlicher Dinge

Esa Saarinen
Freundlichkeit gegenüber Babys und andere radikale Ideen in Rortys antizynischer Philosophie

Saskia Sassen
Die Transformation der Staatsbürgerschaft und Rortys Konzept eines kosmopolitischen Patriotismus

Claus Leggewie und Dariuš Zifonun
Was heißt Interkulturalität?

Alexander Gröschner ist wissenschaftlicher Assistent an der TUM School of Education der Technischen Universität München.

Mike Sandbothe ist freier Autor und kulturpolitischer Berater in Hamburg.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

New issue of "Public Reason"

A new issue of the online journal "Public Reason" (Vol. 2, No 2) is available. It includes

Modus Vivendi, Consensus, and (Realist) Liberal Legitimacy
Enzo Rossi (University of Wales)

“Scales of Justice” and the Challenges of Global Governmentality
Ina Kerner (Humboldt University of Berlin)

The Basis of Universal Liberal Principles in Nussbaum’s Political Philosophy
Matthias Katzer (University of Siegen)

Dussel’s Critique of Discourse Ethics as Critique of Ideology
Asger Sørensen (University of Aarhus)

Amartya Sen, The Idea of Justice (pdf)
Reviewed by Stefan Bird-Pollan (University of Kentucky)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mendieta on Habermas's forthcoming book on religion

In a new essay on Habermas's thoughts on "Rationalization, modernity and secularization", Eduardo Mendieta gives us some information about Habermas's forthcoming book on religion:

"In autumn 2008, Habermas gave a series of lectures at Yale, which were followed the next autumn by another set of lectures, and a seminar at Stony Brook University on "Political Theology". That same autumn a workshop was organized on Habermas's recent work on religion for which he made available several large manuscripts of what appears to be the working draft for a book on religion. The workshop yielded a large manuscript of essays engaging Habermas's comprehensive rethinking of some of his earlier ideas and formulations on religion. One of the centrepieces of this working draft is a critique of modernization theory that links social progress to secularization. Here Habermas aims to show why secularization theory has been mistaken on several accounts and why we must attenuate and revise some of its major claims. At the very least if we are to hold on to the basic claims of modernization theory, we must uncouple them from strong "secularist" assumptions.This critique of modernization theory is matched by a turn towards the latest work on anthropology, ethnography and archeology that is theorizing the relationship between ritual, the emergence of mythological narratives and the evolution of human mind. These is also a long chapter on the Axial Age and the simultaneous emergence of universal, monotheistic religions and world-transcending philosophical perspectives."

Eduardo Mendieta's essay is published in Barbara Fultner (ed): Jürgen Habermas - Key Concepts (Acumen, 2011), pp. 222-238. See my post on the book here.

Eduardo Mendieta is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. In 2002, he edited Jürgen Habermas's "Religion and Rationality. Essays on Reason, God, and Modernity" (MIT Press & Polity Press, 2002), which includes Mendieta's famous interview with Habermas: "A Conversation About God and the World" from 1999. Later this year a new book on "Habermas and Religion" will come out on Polity Press, edited by Craig Calhoun, Eduardo Mendieta and Jonathan vanAnwerpen.

Also see Mendieta's interview with Jürgen Habermas "A Postsecular World Society?" (2009) [pdf]

Sunday, April 10, 2011

New introduction to John Rawls

Rawls Explained
From Fairness to Utopia

by Paul Voice

(Open Court, 2011)

176 pages


This book introduces the reader to the political theories of the American philosopher John Rawls. Rawls Explained sets out Rawls’s complex arguments in a way that makes them accessible to first-time readers of his hugely influential work. This book is both clear in its exposition of Rawls’s ideas and is true to the complex purposes of his arguments. It also attends to the variety of objections that have been made to Rawls’s arguments since it is these objections that have shaped the progression of his work.

Contents [preview]


Part I: A Theory of Justice

1. Two Introductory Ideas
2. The Analytic of Justice
3. The Practicum of Justice
4. The Theoretical Basis of Justice
5. Objections and Responses

Part II: Political Liberalism

1. The Good in Political Liberalism
2. The Justfication of the Principles Reconsidered
3. The Right and the Good Revisited
4. Objections and Responses

Part III: The Law of Peoples

1. Ideal Theory - An Analytic of International Justice
2. The Practicum of International Justice
3. Objections and Responses


Paul Voice teaches philosophy at Bennington College, Vermont. He is the author of "Morality and Agreement: A Defense of Moral Contractarianism" (Peter Lang, 2002).

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Neues Buch: Transnationalisierung der Volkssouveränität

Transnationalisierung der Volkssouveränität
Radikale Demokratie diesseits und jenseits des Staates
(Ingeborg Maus zum 70. Geburtstag)

Hrsg. von Oliver Eberl

(Franz Steiner Verlag, 2011)

354 S.


Mehr als zweihundert Jahre nach der Französischen Revolution stellt sich die Frage, wie ihre zentrale staatstheoretische Errungenschaft, die Theorie der Volkssouveränität, den Herausforderungen der Globalisierung widerstehen oder zur Demokratisierung der internationalen Beziehungen beitragen kann. Volkssouveränität heißt, dass alle Macht zur Verfassung- und Gesetzgebung in den Händen des Volkes liegt. Gesetzgebung durch das Volk und Rechtsstaatlichkeit gehen in ihr eine konstitutive Verbindung ein.
Kann Volkssouveränität die globalen Grenzüberschreitungen der wirtschaftlichen und kommunikativen Systeme durch Transnationalisierung demokratisch nachvollziehen? Oder wird nicht vielmehr eine demokratische Kontrolle der Politik durch die globale Entgrenzung unmöglich gemacht? Wie stehen die Chancen radikaler Demokratie im 21. Jahrhundert diesseits und jenseits des Staates?

Inhalt [pdf]

Teil I. Kritische Theorie der Demokratie und des Rechts

Dieter Grimm
Reformalisierung des Rechtsstaats als Demokratiepostulat? (1980) [pdf]

Sonja Buckel
Von der Selbstorganisation zur Gerechtigkeitsexpertokratie

Michael Hirsch
Nominalismus der radikalen Demokratie

Soraya Nour
Pluralismus und Identitätskonflikte

Tim Eckes
Personelle Gewaltenteilungslehre und parlamentarische Demokratie

Michael Becker
Reine Theorie der Volkssouveränität oder prozeduralistisch halbierte Herrschaft des Rechts

Teil II. Volkssouveränität und Völkerrecht

Rainer Schmalz-Bruns
Das unbestimmte „Selbst“ der Selbstgesetzgebung

Ulrich Thiele
Von der Volkssouveränität zum Völker(staats)recht

Øystein Lundestad / Howard Williams
Kant und die humanitäre Intervention

Oliver Eberl / Peter Niesen
Kein Frieden mit dem ‚ungerechten Feindʻ?

Teil III. Volkssouveränität jenseits des Staates

William E. Scheuerman
Der Republikanismus der Aufklärung im Zeitalter der Globalisierung

Florian Rödl
Demokratische Verrechtlichung ohne Verstaatlichung

Andreas Niederberger
Kant und der Streit um den Kosmopolitismus in der politischen Philosophie

Hauke Brunkhorst

Oliver Eberl ist wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter im Arbeitsbereich Politische Theorie und Ideengeschichte, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Technische Universität, Darmstadt.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Martha Nussbaum on Perfectionist Liberalism and Political Liberalism

In the new issue of "Philosophy & Public Affairs" (vol. 39, no. 1, 2011), Professor Martha Nussbaum has an article on "Perfectionist Liberalism and Political Liberalism".

There is free access to the article (and to every issue of Philosophy & Public Affairs in its online library) if you registrer for a free 30-day trial.

An early draft of the article is available here.

"As I define perfectionist liberalism, following [Charles] Larmore, it is a species of a genus of liberal views that might be called “comprehensive liberalisms,” liberalisms that base political principles on some comprehensive doctrine about human life that covers not only the political domain but also the domain of human conduct generally. Most forms of comprehensive liberalism are perfectionist, involving a doctrine about the good life and the nature of value. But a doctrine can be comprehensive without being perfectionist." (....)

"Perfectionistic forms of comprehensive liberalism (whether utilitarian or Hegelian, or based on a picture of neo-Aristotelian virtue, or on Christian doctrines, or on one of many other possible views) have been immensely influential historically and remain so today. The Raz/Berlin position, avowedly perfectionist in Larmore’s sense, remains a particularly interesting and attractive liberal view, which deserves continued scrutiny (along with its various relatives)." (....)

"The major liberal alternative to Berlin’s and Raz’s perfectionist liberalism, in the recent Anglo-American philosophical literature, is the view called “political liberalism.” This view was developed first by Charles Larmore in Patterns of Moral Complexity and The Morals of Modernity, with explicit reference to Berlin, but in most detail by John Rawls in his great book Political Liberalism." (....)

"... although Rawls’s Theory of Justice is widely known, and frequently discussed in the literature on welfarism and utilitarianism, such is not the case with his great later book [Political Liberalism]. The concept of political liberalism is simply ignored in a large proportion of discussions of welfare and social policy, as are the challenges Rawls poses to thinkers who would base politics on a single comprehensive normative view. Many theorists influenced by various forms of normative utilitarianism have simply not attended to the issues of respect raised by their commitment to a comprehensive normative ethical doctrine as the basis for political principles and policy choices. It is certainly possible for consequentialist and welfarist views to be reformulated as forms of political liberalism. It also might be possible for them to defend their perfectionist doctrines against Rawlsian challenges. But the failure of their proponents to confront the issue head-on means that this work has not yet been done. It is my hope that the challenge contained in this article may stimulate this further work."

Also see Martha Nussbaum - "Rawls's Political Liberalism. A Reassessment". Ratio Juris vol. 24 no. 1 (March 2011).

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Habermas: "A Pact for or against Europe?"

In "Süddeutsche Zeitung" April 7, Jürgen Habermas on Germany and Europe:

"Ein Pakt für oder gegen Europa?"
An Gründen für eine Gemeinschaft fehlt es nicht, wohl aber einem politischen Willen - und an Verantwortung.

This is a speech given by Habermas on April 6 at a meeting on "Europe and the re-discovery of the German nation-state" arranged by the Berlin office of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). Habermas criticised political elites for shirking their responsibility of delivering Europe to its citizens, instead relying on opportunism that threatens to “sink 50 years of European history”. Former foreign minister Joschka Fischer also took part in the discussion. See Habermas's full speech here (pdf).

See the reports on Habermas's speech in
- The Irish Times, April 7
- The Financial Times Deutschland, April 7
- EurActiv, April 7
- Der Tagesspiegel, April 8
- The Local (German news in English), April 8
- The Irish Times, April 9.

"Die neue deutsche Normalität erklärt nicht die Tatsache, dass es bisher in keinem der Mitgliedsstaaten eine einzige Europawahl und kaum ein Referendum gegeben hat, in denen über etwas anderes als über nationale Themen und Tickets entschieden worden ist. Politische Parteien vermeiden natürlich die Thematisierung von unpopulären Fragen. Das ist einerseits trivial, weil es das Ziel von Parteien sein muss, Wahlen zu gewinnen. Andererseits ist es keineswegs trivial, warum seit Jahrzehnten Europawahlen von Themen und Personen beherrscht werden, die gar nicht zur Entscheidung anstehen. Der Umstand, dass sich die Bürger über die Relevanz des Geschehens im subjektiv entfernten Straßburg und Brüssel täuschen, begründet sehr wohl eine Bringschuld, der sich jedoch die politischen Parteien hartnäckig entziehen.

Freilich scheint die Politik heute allgemein in einen Aggregatzustand, der sich durch den Verzicht auf Perspektive und Gestaltungswillen auszeichnet, überzugehen. Die wachsende Komplexität der regelungsbedürftigen Materien nötigt zu kurzatmigen Reaktionen in schrumpfenden Handlungsspielräumen. Als hätten sich die Politiker den entlarvenden Blick der Systemtheorie zu eigen gemacht, folgen sie schamlos dem opportunistischen Drehbuch einer demoskopiegeleiteten Machtpragmatik, die sich aller normativen Bindungen entledigt hat. Merkels Atommoratorium ist nur das auffälligste Beispiel. Und nicht Guttenberg, sondern die Regierungschefin selbst hat (in den Worten der FAZ) "die halbe Republik und fast die ganze CDU zum Lügen gebracht", als sie den öffentlich überführten Plagiator aus Rücksicht auf dessen Beliebtheit im Amt behielt. Kühl kalkulierend hat sie für ein paar Silberlinge, die sie an den Wahlurnen dann doch nicht hat einstreichen können, das rechtsstaatliche Amtsverständnis kassiert. Ein Großer Zapfenstreich hat die Normalität dieser Praxis auch noch besiegelt.

Dem liegt ein Verständnis von Demokratie zugrunde, das die New York Times nach der Wiederwahl von George W. Bush auf die Formel von der post-truth democracy gebracht hat. In dem Maße, wie die Politik ihr gesamtes Handeln von der Konkordanz mit Stimmungslagen abhängig macht, denen sie von Wahltermin zu Wahltermin hinterherhechelt, verliert das demokratische Verfahren seinen Sinn. Eine demokratische Wahl ist nicht dazu da, ein naturwüchsiges Meinungsspektrum bloß abzubilden; vielmehr soll sie das Ergebnis eines öffentlichen Prozesses der Meinungsbildung wiedergeben. Die in der Wahlkabine abgegebenen Stimmen erhalten das institutionelle Gewicht demokratischer Mitbestimmung erst in Verbindung mit den öffentlich artikulierten Meinungen, die sich im kommunikativen Austausch von themenrelevanten Stellungnahmen, Informationen und Gründen herausgebildet haben."

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

At Rutgers: Symposium on Sen's "The Idea of Justice"

The Institute for Law and Philosophy at Rutgers University will host a two-day symposium on Amartya Sen's "The Idea of Justice" (Harvard University Press, 2009) on April 15-16, 2011.

The program:

Friday, April 15

Samuel Freeman (Pennsylvania):
"Perfect Justice and the Well-Ordered Society"

Erin Kelly (Tufts)
Public Reason as a Collective Capability” (pdf)

David Estlund (Brown):
"The Best and the Rest: Optimizing and Comparing in Theories of Justice"

Saturday, April 16

Henry Richardson (Georgetown)
"Mapping Out Improvements in Justice: Comparing vs. Aiming" (pdf)

Gerald Gaus (Arizona):
"Social Contract and Social Choice" (pdf)

Debra Satz (Stanford):
"The Idea of Justice: What Approach, Which Capabilities?"

Professor Amartya Sen will also attend the symposium.

The proceedings will be published in a special issue of the Rutgers Law Journal.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Habermas on the Habermas-Rawls Debate

"Habermas and Rawls - Disputing the Political" (Routledge, 2011), edited by James Gordon Finlayson & Fabian Freyenhagen, includes a new article by Jürgen Habermas in which he comments on John Rawls's political theory and on the other contributions in the book.

Here are some excerpts from Habermas's "Reply to My Critics" (pp. 283-304):

"How far are morality, law and politics amenable to rational justification and how do they relate to the normative content of the ethical-existential life orientations and worldviews of individuals and communities? For my part, I follow Kant in assuming that, with the concept of autonomy, the practical reason shared by all persons offers a reliable guide both for morally justifying individual actions and for the rational construction of a legitimate political constitution for society. Kant understands "autonomy" as the ability of persons to bind their will to universal norms that they give themselves in the light of reason.

Rawls takes this individualistic and egalitarian universalism into account only in his exposition of a concept of political justice, however, wheread he situates moral conceptions on the particularisic side of the plurality of "comprehensive doctrines". Nevertheless, the "priority of the right over the good", as I understand it, sets the parameters in such a way that the concept of political Justice as Fairness is composed entirely of universalized contents that can also count as "morally" justified in the Kantian sense and are not shaped by values of a particular political culture." (p. 284)

"[There is however] a problem that, in my view, besets the construction of the "overlapping consensus". The correctness of the political conception of justice is supposed, on the one hand, to be measured by whether it can be integrated into the different comprehensive doctrines as a module; on the other hand, only the "reasonable" doctrines that recognize the primacy of political values are supposed to be admitted to this test. It remains unclear which side trumps the other, the competing groups with a shared worldview who can say "no", or practical reason that prescribes in advance which voices count. In my opinion, the practical reason expressed in the citizens' public use of their reason should have the final word here, too. This admittedly calls for a philosophical justification of the universal validity of a morality of equal respect for everyone. Rawls want to sidestep this task by confining himself to a "freestanding" theory of political justice." (p. 285)

"Rawls employs the concept of "freestanding" in a more specific sense when he refers to the independence of philosophical subdisciplines from one another. (....) The reason for Rawls's intention to insulate his theoretical program from controversies in neighboring disciplines has to do with the meaning of normative political theories. He hoped that this would enable the concept of Justice as Fairness to secure broad public acceptance. I am skeptical in this regard because each of Rawls's basic conceptual distinctions - moral versus political, rational versus full autonomy, the right versus the good, true versus reasonable, reasonable versus rational, truth versus objectivity, etc. - forces him to take positions in specialist discourses that reach far beyond the boundaries of political theory. Fallibilism and continued controversies on all fronts are the price to be paid for metaphysical abstinence" (p. 290)

See my previous post on "Habermas and Rawls - Disputing the Political".

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Book on the Habermas-Rawls Debate

Habermas and Rawls
Disputing the Political

Ed. by James Gordon Finlayson
& Fabian Freyenhagen

(Routledge, 2011)

315 pages


Habermas and Rawls are two heavyweights of social and political philosophy, and they are undoubtedly the two most written about (and widely read) authors in this field. However, there has not been much informed and interesting work on the points of intersection between their projects, partly because their work comes from different traditions — roughly the European tradition of social and political theory and the Anglo-American analytic tradition of political philosophy. In this volume, contributors re-examine the Habermas-Rawls dispute with an eye toward the ways in which the dispute can cast light on current controversies about political philosophy more broadly. Moreover, the volume will cover a number of other salient issues on which Habermas and Rawls have interesting and divergent views, such as the political role of religion and international justice.

The volume includes a new article by Jürgen Habermas in which he comments on the contributions.


The Habermas-Rawls Dispute: Analysis and Re-evaluation
James Gordon Finlayson and Fabian Freyenhagen

Part I: The Habermas-Rawls Dispute

1: Reconciliation through the Public Reason (1995) - Jürgen Habermas
2: Political Liberalism: Reply to Habermas (1995) - John Rawls
3: Reasonable versus True (1996) - Jürgen Habermas

Part II: Disputing the Political

4: Justice: Transcendental not Metaphysical - Joseph Heath
5: The Justice of Justification - Anthony Simon Laden
6: The Justification of Justice (1999) - Rainer Forst
7: Procedure in Substance and Substance in Procedure - James Gledhill
8: Habermas, Rawls, and Moral Impartiality - Chris McMahon
9: Rawls and Habermas on the Place of Religion in the Political Domain - Catherine Audard
10: Two Models of Human Rights - Jeffrey Flynn

11: Beyond Overlapping Consensus - James Bohman

Part III: Afterword

12: A Reply to my Critics - Jürgen Habermas

James Gordon Finlayson is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Head of Social and Political Thought at the University of Sussex. He is the author of the excellent "Habermas: A Very Short Introduction" (Oxford University Press, 2005).

Fabian Freyenhagen is a lecturer in political philosophy at the University of Essex. He is the co-editor (with Thom Brooks) of "The Legacy of John Rawls" (Continuum, 2005).