Volume 11, 2001
Social and Political Philosophy
Rawls on Constitutional Consensus and the Problem of Stability
This paper lays out the background and main features of Rawls’s new theory of justice. This is a theory that he began adumbrating about 1980 and that is given its fullest statement in his recent book Political Liberalism. I identify the main patterns of justification Rawls attempts to provide for his new theory and suggest a problem with one of these patterns in particular. The main lines of my analysis engage Rawls’s idea of constitutional consensus and his account of political stability.