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John Rawls


Please note that this video is available in German.

The video presents an introduction to the basic ideas of Rawls’ theory of justice, taking up important concepts such as equality as well as Rawl’s central concept of the primordial state.

The following text is discussed in the video clip:

John Rawls, Eine Theorie der Gerechtigkeit
Kapitel 1, Gerechtigkeit als Fairness (Suhrkamp Taschenbuch Wissenschaft, 22. Auflage 2020, S. 19 – 39).

John Rawls (*1921 Baltimore, †2002) was an American philosopher and professor at Harvard University and is considered a central as well as much-discussed representative of 20th century political philosophy. In his major work, A Theory of Justice (1971), he developed a standpoint of social equality from which members of a society are supposed to agree on certain principles of justice. In his approach, socially disadvantaged groups, as well as questions of the distribution of material resources and education, play a decisive role. At the same time, he represents a liberal self-image in which the freedom of the individual within democracy is a high good. Despite his efforts to achieve social and political justice, Rawls’ theory has been increasingly appropriated by neoliberal discourses and used as legitimation for an accentuated economic liberalism.

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