Burton Dreben: A Reminiscence

– in Juliet Floyd and Sanford Shieh, eds., Future Pasts: Perspectives on the Place of the Analytic Tradition in Twentieth-Century Philosophy, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.)

Reply to Habermas

– John Rawls, "Reply to Habermas," Journal of Philosophy, 93:3 (March 1995).

The Law of Peoples

– in On Human Rights: The Oxford Amnesty Lectures, 1993, ed., Steven Shute and Susan Hurley (New York: Basic Books, 1993), pp. 41–82.
One aim of this essay is to sketch in a short space—I can do no more than that—how the law of peoples may be developed out of liberal ideas of justice similar to but more general than the idea I called justice as fairness and presented in my book A Theory… More

The Domain of the Political and Overlapping Consensus

– John Rawls, "The Domain of the Political and Overlapping Consensus," New York University Law Review 64 (1989): 233–55.
Excerpt: In a society marked by a pluralism of comprehensive moral views the ability of a constitutional regime to maintain widespread allegiance is due to “overlapping consensus.” Those with divergent comprehensive views may nonetheless agree… More

The Priority of Right and Ideas of the Good

John Rawls, "The Priority of Right and Ideas of the Good," Philosophy and Public Affairs 17 (1988): 251–76.
“The idea of the priority of right is an essential element in what I have called political liberalism, and it has a central role in justice as fairness as a form of that view. That priority may give rise to misunderstandings: it may be thought, for… More

On the Idea of an Overlapping Consensus

John Rawls, "On the Idea of an Overlapping Consensus," Oxford Journal for Legal Studies 7 (1987): 1–25.
The aims of political philosophy depend on the society it addresses. In a constitutional democracy one of its most important aims is presenting a political conception of justice that can not only provide a shared public basis for the justification of… More

Justice as Fairness: Political not Metaphysical

John Rawls, "Justice as Fairness: Political not Metaphysical," Philosophy and Public Affairs 14 (1985): 223–51.
In this discussion I shall make some general remarks about how I now understand the conception of justice that I have called “justice as fairness” (presented in my book A Theory of Justice). I do this because it may seem that this conception… More

Social Unity and Primary Goods

in Utilitarianism and Beyond, ed., Amartya Sen and Bernard Williams, pp. 159–85. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1982.

Kantian Constructivism in Moral Theory: The Dewey Lectures

John Rawls, "Kantian Constructivism in Moral Theory: The Dewey Lectures," Journal of Philosophy 77 (1980): 515–72.
In these lectures I examine the notion of a constructivist moral conception, or, more exactly, since there are different kinds of constructivism, one Kantian variant of this notion. The variant I discuss is that of justice as fairness, which is presented in… More

The Basic Structure as Subject

The first version was published in the American Philosophical Quarterly 14 (1977): 159–65 after it was read before the meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, 1977. A revised and expanded version appears in Values and Morals: Essays in Honor of William Frankena, Charles Stevenson, and Richard B. Brandt, pp. 47–71. ed., A. Goldman and J. Kim. Dordrecht, Holland: Reidel, 1978.

Fairness to Goodness

John Rawls, "Fairness to Goodness," Philosophical Review 84 (1975): 536–54.

A Kantian Conception of Equality

John Rawls, "A Kantian Conception of Equality," Cambridge Review (1975): 94–9. Reprinted as “A Well-Ordered Society,” in Philosophy, Politics, and Society, Vol.5, edited by P. Laslett and J. Fishkin (Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1979) pp. 6–20.
Excerpt: When fully articulated, any conception of justice expresses a conception of the person, of the relations between persons, and of the general structure and ends of social cooperation. To accept the principles that represent a conception of justice is… More

The Independence of Moral Theory

John Rawls, "The Independence of Moral Theory," Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 48 (1975): 5–22.
Excerpt: I wish to sketch a point of view towards moral philosophy and express a conviction as to how I think a central part of this subject is, for the present anyway, best pursued. For much of the time my discussion is methodological, and while such matters… More

Some Reasons for the Maximin Criterion

John Rawls, "Some Reasons for the Maximin Criterion," American Economic Review 64 (1974): 141–6.
Excerpt: “Recently the maximin criterion of distributive equity has received some attention from economists in connection with the problem of optimal income taxation…What I shall do is to summarize briefly some of the reasons for taking the… More

Distributive Justice: Some Addenda

John Rawls, "Distributive Justice: Some Addenda," Natural Law Forum 13 (1968): 51–71.
On this occasion I wish to elaborate further the conception of distributive justice that I have already sketched elsewhere. This conception derives from the ideal of social justice implicit in the two principles proposed in the essay “Justice as… More

Distributive Justice

The first version of this paper was published in Philosophy, Politics, and Society. Third Series. eds., P. Laslett and W.G. Runciman, pp. 58–82. Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell, 1967. This essay and the essay “Distributive Justice: Some Addenda” were combined to form a second “Distributive Justice” in Economic Justice, ed., E. Phelps, pp. 319–62. London: Penguin Books, 1973.

The Sense of Justice

John Rawls, "The Sense of Justice," Philosophical Review 72 (1963): 281–305.
In Emile Rousseau asserts that the sense of justice is no mere moral conception formed by the understanding alone, but a true sentiment of the heart enlightened by reason, the natural outcome of our primitive affections. In the first part of this paper I set… More

Justice as Fairness (Expanded Version)

John Rawls, "Justice as Fairness" (Expanded Version), Philosophical Review 67 (1958): 164–94.
It might seem at first sight that the concepts of justice and fairness are the same, and that there is no reason to distinguish them, or to say that one is more fundamental than the other. I think that this impression is mistaken. In this paper I wish to show… More

Justice as Fairness

John Rawls, "Justice as Fairness," Journal of Philosophy (October 24, 1957), 54 (22): 653-662.
The fundamental idea in the concept of justice is that of fairness. It is this aspect of justice for which utilitarianism, in its classical form, is unable to account, but which is represented, even if misleadingly so, in the idea of the social contract.… More

Two Concepts of Rules

John Rawls, "Two Concepts of Rules," Philosophical Review 64 (1955): 3–32.
In this paper I want to show the importance of the distinction between justifying a practice and justifying a particular action falling under it, and I want to explain the logical basis of this distinction and how it is possible to miss its significance.… More

Outline of a Decision Procedure for Ethics

– John Rawls, "Outline of a Decision Procedure for Ethics," Philosophical Review 60 (1951): 177–97.
The question with which we shall be concerned can be stated as follows: Does there exist a reasonable decision procedure which is sufficiently strong, at least in some cases, to determine the manner in which competing interests should be adjudicated, and, in… More