Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Theory of Justice


At long last, I have finally finished reading Rawls's A Theory of Justice (the revised edition, which appears to be out of print). Now, I just have to read it again, twice. Although I learned a lot that goes beyond the usually-anthologized material, the chief thing I learned is that there is much in the book that looks like it will repay slower, more cautious reading. The book's scope and detail certainly exceeded my expectations. Regrettably, I must now return my copy, since another patron has recalled it to the library—that's why I read the thing at such blinding, unscholarly speed—but I feel at least that I am now in a better position to work with the secondary literature.

2 comments:

Hume's Ghost said...

This is only tangentially related to this post (at best) but this reminds me of another book that I always intend to read but never get around to: Vol's 1 and 2 of Popper's Open Society and its Enemies.

Now that you've finished Theory of Justice, do you have any intention to read the follow-up Political Liberalism? I've always been tempted to read P.L. first ... when I flipped threw it seemed like a more accessible read.

Mark Vuletic said...

I have two political philosophy queues, one of which started with A Theory of Justice, and the other of which started with Wolff's In Defense of Anarchism.

Here's what I have in the first queue right now:

1. Nozick. Anarchy, State, and Utopia.

2. Freeman. Rawls.

3. Kukathas & Pettit. Rawls' A Theory of Justice and Its Critics.

4. Rawls. Political Liberalism.

5. Rawls. The Law of Peoples.

6. Rawls & Kelly. Justice as Fairness.

Freeman's book is part of the Routledge Philosophers series, which I have raved about on this blog a few times before. If it's anything like the rest of the series, it's probably the best place to start. I didn't want to start with Political Liberalism, because (if I am not mistaken) it builds on some of the things introduced in A Theory of Justice.