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Title of Thesis

Abdul Wahab Soori
Institute/University/Department Details
University of Karachi
Number of Pages
Keywords (Extracted from title, table of contents and abstract of thesis)
rawls’ theory of justice, principles of justice, liberal communitarians, socio-political order, democracy, political consensus

Rawls considers “Justice as fairness” as a political conception of justice. Although the normative dimension of the “theory of justice” is not ignorable. It is an acknowledged fact that, there has been a great deal of confusion over what he really means by “political”. In “post theory of justice” texts Rawls tries to make his conception of the “political” clear. The critical analysis of his work unveils his insistence on the political dimension of the theory of justice. The deep understanding of his conception of the “political” reveals: firstly the source of his motivation to be committed to the political conception of justice: secondly the root cause of the misinterpretation of his theory of justice and thirdly and most importantly the organic relationship among the issues of public justifiability, overlapping consensus and pluralism

The sustenance of this organic whole demands an intellectual attitude, which prioritizes politics (i.e. democracy) over philosophy for the establishment of just socio-political order. There by Rawls considers “public justifiability” as the primary condition of justice as fairness. However the “political consensus” is the secondary dimension of the just order, which sustains the legitimacy and stability of socio-political order. The public justifiability is the manifestation of the convictions which have been emerged from the historical experiences of a political community. The incorporation of convictions and considered judgments of a community in the socio-political fabric is necessary to sustain the social order. However the “political consensus” is the institutionalization and formalization of the considered judgment according to the political demand of that society

Rawls claims that in the concrete political domain we cannot adopt one final, abstract and comprehensive philosophical standpoint to defend a political conception of justice. The historical experiences of modern democratic culture have changed the direction of intellectual struggle. The intellectual defeat of modern epistemology makes it impossible to provide an ontologically grounded and epistemologically defended universalist defense of any conception of justice. The need of a workable conception of justice is the historical condition of such a culture, which emerges from the wars of religion, reformation, count3erreformation, industrialization, social mobilization and democratic from of government of the “principle of tolerance”. The agreement upon the principle of tolerance demands the plurality of comprehensive philosophical doctrines and equal legitimacy of the realization of incommensurable conceptions of good in principle. He claims that justice as fairness provides a practical political procedure, which satisfies the demand of modern memocratic societies. Pluralism entailed by industrial societies is presumed to be the permanent features of modern democracies, which challenges the priority of philosophy over democracy. In this thesis we will try to excavate the philosophical foundations of the Rawlsian theory of justice (1971), and also try to identify the philosophical shift in his positions under the light of some of his major critiques

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S. No. Chapter Title of the Chapters Page Size (KB)
1 0 Contents 0
133.7 KB
2 1 Rawls’ Principles Of Justice 1
283.99 KB
  1.1 Analysis Of The Principles Of Justice 16
3 2 The Institutional Dimension Of The “Principles Of Justice” 29
368.1 KB
  2.1 Four Stage Sequence 30
  2.2 Principles Of Justice And Their Corresponding Institutions 40
  2.2 The Problem Of Civil Duty And Its Implication 58
4 3 Rawls As A Liberal 69
579.08 KB
  3.1 John Locke (1632-1704) 73
  3.2 Rawls And Liberal Legacy 101
  3.3 Concluding Remarks 124
5 4 Rawls In Relation To Liberal Communitarians 126
228.82 KB
  4.1 The Communitarian Critique Of Rawls 127
  4.2 The Communitarian Relationship With Rawls 142
  4.3 Concluding Remarks 147
6 5 Post Modernist Interpretation Of Rawls 148
606.9 KB
  5.1 Concluding Remarks 163
  5.2 Conclusion 165
  5.3 References 183
  5.4 Conclusion 201