Justice and the Social Contract: Essays on Rawlsian Political Philosophy

Samuel Freeman, Justice and the Social Contract: Essays on Rawlsian Political Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006).


John Rawls (1921-2002) was one of the 20th century’s most important philosophers and continues to be among the most widely discussed of contemporary thinkers. His work, particularly A Theory of Justice, is integral to discussions of social and international justice, democracy, liberalism, welfare economics, and constitutional law, in departments of philosophy, politics, economics, law, public policy, and others.

Samuel Freeman is one of Rawls’s foremost interpreters. This volume contains nine of his essays on Rawls and Rawlsian justice, two of which are previously unpublished. Freeman places Rawls within historical context in the social contract tradition, addresses criticisms of his positions, and discusses the implications of his views on issues of distributive justice, liberalism and democracy, international justice, and other subjects. This collection will be useful to the wide range of scholars interested in Rawls and theories of justice.

Table of Contents:


Part One: A Theory of Justice
Chapter One: Reason and Agreement in Social Contract Views
Chapter Two: Utilitarian, Deontology, and the Priority of Right
Chapter Three: Consequentialist, Publicity, Stability, and Property-Owning Democracy
Chapter Four: Rawls and Luck Egalitarianism
Chapter Five: Congruence and the Good Justice

Part Two: Political Liberalism
Chapter Six: Political Liberalism and the Possibility of a Just Democratic Constitution
Chapter Seven: Public Reason and Political Justification

Part Three: The Law of Peoples
Chapter Eight: The Law of Peoples, Social Cooperation, Human Rights, and Distributive Justice
Chapter Nine: Distributed Justice and the Law of Peoples

Appendix A: Remarks on John Rawls, Memorial Service, Sanders Theater, Harvard University, February 27, 2003
Appendix B: John Rawls: Friend and Teacher (Obituary from The Chronical Review: The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 13, 2002)

Oxford University Press