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Title: Market participation and embedded critique in John Rawl's theory of justice
Author: Duckworth, C.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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John Rawls has been criticised for wrongly specifying the relationship between persons' ongoing emotional and intellectual commitments and their capacity to reflect on and revise those commitments. While there are, arguably successful, responses to this critique, the difficulty shows up, I argue, in connection with his representation of the problem of stability. Stability, in an ongoing Rawlsian society, if it is to be realistic, requires an accommodation of competing, personal concerns, concerns grounded in "comprehensive" moral doctrines. However, when appeal to Rawls' principles of justice is required in order to settle disputes, in an ongoing Rawlsian society, the disputants must adopt a neutral standpoint that mutes the practical salience of their personal concerns. Those concerns, then, will not be engaged in deliberation. This has the implication that a person must respond to a judgement that goes against her by rescinding what she sees, prima facie, as a legitimate concern. This represents the problem of stability as one of how to extinguish unsupported practical considerations. The problem ought to be represented, rather, as one of how to accommodate competing concerns while keeping their practical salience, for the individuals whose concerns they are, intact. Ways to attempt to remedy this can be drawn on from outside of Rawlsian theory. In this thesis, however, I attempt to show how one can address the issue from within a Rawlsian account. Centrally, I note that Rawlsian citizens are, by assumption, market participants, at least insofar as they are involved in a system of discretionary exchange, and that, in order to be adequately specified as market participants, they must possess certain characteristics. An exploration of these characteristics offers, or so I argue, a conception of the relationship between ongoing personal commitments and the capacity for radical critique that promises to address the deficiency in Rawls' representation of the problem of social stability.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available