A vision of justice

John Rawls, 1921-2002
As liberal democracy spreads across more and more of the globe, the influence of John Rawls seems likely to spread. Rawls, who died on November 24 at age 82, wrote the 20th century’s most complete philosophical defense of that form of government. He takes his place with political thinkers from Locke and Jefferson to Bentham and Mill who shaped the Anglo-American vision of liberalism. He also provides a framework for thinking about democracy and justice across a wide range of economic conditions and cultural traditions.

 

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