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Rawls and realism

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Political realists like Bernard Williams and Raymond Geuss reject political moralism, where ideal ethical theory comes first, then applied principles, and politics is reduced to a kind of applied ethics. While the models of political moralism that Williams criticizes are endorsed by G.A. Cohen and Ronald Dworkin respectively, I argue that this realist case against John Rawls cannot be sustained. In explicating and defending Rawls’s realistically utopian conception of ideal theory I defend a Kantian conception of theory where it is by abstracting from immediate realities that theory is fit to guide practice by providing a framework for political judgment.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/41899/

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