The Habermas-Rawls debate

Finlayson, James Gordon (2019) The Habermas-Rawls debate. Columbia University Press, New York and Chichester. ISBN 9780231164108

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Abstract

Jürgen Habermas and John Rawls are perhaps the two most renowned and influential figures in social and political philosophy of the second half of the twentieth century. In the 1990s, they had a famous exchange in the Journal of Philosophy. Quarreling over the merits of each other’s accounts of the shape and meaning of democracy and legitimacy in a contemporary society, they also revealed how great thinkers working in different traditions read—and misread—one another’s work.

In this book, James Gordon Finlayson examines the Habermas-Rawls debate in context and considers its wider implications. He traces their dispute from its inception in their earliest works to the 1995 exchange and its aftermath, as well as its legacy in contemporary debates. Finlayson discusses Rawls’s Political Liberalism and Habermas’s Between Facts and Norms, considering them as the essential background to the dispute and using them to lay out their different conceptions of justice, politics, democratic legitimacy, individual rights, and the normative authority of law. He gives a detailed analysis and assessment of their contributions, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of their different approaches to political theory, conceptions of democracy, and accounts of religion and public reason, and he reflects on the ongoing significance of the debate. The Habermas-Rawls Debate is an authoritative account of the crucial intersection of two major political theorists and an explication of why their dispute continues to matter.

Item Type: Book
Keywords: Habermas Rawls Political Liberalism Legitimacy Democracy Public Reason
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > American Studies
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Social and Political Thought
Subjects: A General Works
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion. Mythology. Rationalism
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
J Political Science > JC Political theory. The state. Theories of the state
J Political Science > JC Political theory. The state. Theories of the state > JC327 Sovereignty
J Political Science > JC Political theory. The state. Theories of the state > JC328.2 Consensus. Consent of the governed
J Political Science > JC Political theory. The state. Theories of the state > JC337 Civil society
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN3201 Germany
K Law
K Law > KF Law of the United States
K Law > KF Law of the United States
Depositing User: Gordon Finlayson
Date Deposited: 28 May 2019 14:04
Last Modified: 28 May 2019 14:04
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/83973
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