Rawls is a coherentist about political justification

Here’s an interesting quote from Rawls:

A conception of Justice cannot be deduced from self-evident premises or conditions on principles; instead, its justification is a matter of the mutual support of many considerations, of everything fitting together into one coherent view.
~A Theory of Justice, §4

This reflective equilibrium is a tacit rejection of foundationalism in the field of political science, and it seems to me that Rawls’ view is, in this respect, at odds with Natural Law jurisprudence and political theory. It is interesting to note nevertheless, since it fits nicely in with other philosophical views in vogue in Rawls’ time (from Lawrence Bonjour’s coherentist epistemology to W.V.O. Quine’s dispensability thesis). However, once coherentism passes out of fashion, it seems like Rawls may have to lose popular appeal as well.


About tylerjourneaux

I am an aspiring Catholic theologian and philosopher, and I have a keen interest in apologetics. I am creating this blog both in order to practice and improve my writing and memory retention as I publish my thoughts, and in order to give evidence of my ability to understand and communicate thoughts on topics pertinent to Theology, Philosophy, philosophical theology, Catholic (Christian) Apologetics, philosophy of religion and textual criticism.
This entry was posted in Epistemology, Philosophy, Political Philosophy and Jurisprudence and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s