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The Original Position

$28.99 (G)

Part of Classic Philosophical Arguments

David O. Brink, Gerald Gaus, John Thrasher, Jeremy Waldron, John Christman, Matthew Clayton, Amy R. Baehr, David Estlund, Timothy Hinton, Joshua Cohen, Andrews Reath, Paul Weithman, Gillian Brock
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  • Date Published: February 2016
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107627512

$ 28.99 (G)

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About the Authors
  • At the centre of John Rawls's political philosophy is one of the most influential thought experiments of the twentieth century: which principles of justice would a group of individuals choose to regulate their society if they were deprived of any information about themselves that might bias their choice? In this collection of new essays, leading political philosophers examine the ramifications and continued relevance of Rawls's idea. Their chapters explore topics including the place of the original position in rational choice theory, the similarities between Rawls's original position and Kant's categorical imperative, the differences between Rawls's model and Scanlon's contractualism, and the role of the original position in the argument between Rawls and other views in political philosophy, including utilitarianism, feminism, and radicalism. This accessible volume will be a valuable resource for undergraduates, as well as advanced students and scholars of philosophy, game theory, economics, and the social and political sciences.

    • Written by leading Rawls scholars
    • Offers a comprehensive overview of the central idea in John Rawls's political philosophy
    • Accessible to undergraduates as well as advanced students
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "… this is an impressive collection of essays on one of the most influential ideas in modern moral and political philosophy … Taken together, these twelve discussions are about as comprehensive and relevant as any volume on the original position of this length could be."
    Samuel Freeman, University of Pennsylvania

    "Although the original position argument became famous over forty years ago, it's testimony to John Rawls's immense creativity is that an accurate assessment of its strengths and weaknesses is still emerging. Tim Hinton's collection of lucid and thought-provoking essays will play an invaluable role in this welcome process, and also casts new light on work by several of the leading philosophers who have engaged with the argument, including G. A. Cohen, Ronald Dworkin, and T. M. Scanlon. The volume could be read with profit by specialists and students alike."
    Andrew Williams, Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies and Universitat Pompeu Fabra

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107627512
    • length: 292 pages
    • dimensions: 246 x 174 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • contains: 2 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    List of abbreviations
    Introduction: the original position and The Original Position – an overview Timothy Hinton
    1. Justice as fairness, utilitarianism, and mixed conceptions David O. Brink
    2. Rational choice and the original position: the (many) models of Rawls and Harsanyi Gerald Gaus and John Thrasher
    3. The strains of commitment Jeremy Waldron
    4. Our talents, our histories, ourselves: Nozick on the original position argument John Christman
    5. Rawls and Dworkin on hypothetical reasoning Matthew Clayton
    6. Feminist receptions of the original position Amy R. Baehr
    7. G. A. Cohen's critique of the original position David Estlund
    8. Liberals, radicals, and the original position Timothy Hinton
    9. The original position and Scanlon's contractualism Joshua Cohen
    10. The 'Kantian roots' of the original position Andrews Reath
    11. Stability and the original position from Theory to Political Liberalism Paul Weithman
    12. The original position in the law of peoples Gillian Brock

  • Editor

    Timothy Hinton, North Carolina State University
    Timothy Hinton is Professor of Philosophy at North Carolina State University, Raleigh. He has published numerous papers on political philosophy, ethics, and the philosophy of religion in journals including Philosophy and Public Affairs, Analysis, and the Journal of Social Philosophy.


    David O. Brink, Gerald Gaus, John Thrasher, Jeremy Waldron, John Christman, Matthew Clayton, Amy R. Baehr, David Estlund, Timothy Hinton, Joshua Cohen, Andrews Reath, Paul Weithman, Gillian Brock

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