2003年09月04日

Rawls Remembered

Rawls Remembered

An appreciation from the Right.

By Richard A. Epstein



R.エプスタインによるRawls評



”Many people have extraordinary personal virtues without being worldclass intellectuals. So why was Rawls so famous? In one sense, his name is frequently linked with Robert Nozick, also of the Harvard philosophy department, who passed away this past January; much of the libertarian position that Nozick took in Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974) was written in explicit opposition to Rawls\'s work. In a sense these two great books could hardly be more different. Rawls wrote at a very abstract level, paid little attention to the general literature, and often circled back on a point countless numbers of times, never quite reaching closure. As a student of Kant, he regarded himself as writing in opposition to crude utilitarian theories, and wanted to develop an abstract engine that would allow him to flesh out the origins of political obligations, that is, those obligations that justify the creation of the state, and its use of force against ordinary individuals, while preserving their individual dignity. He did not trouble himself with the cute anecdotes, wonderful asides, or weird hypotheticals that made Nozick\'s work so delightfully unconventional in academic circles.”


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