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Rawls & Me


In “The Real Issue,” today’s installment of my debate with Andrew Sullivan over gay marriage, my underlying point bears a resemblance to criticism’s of John Rawls, the immensely influential liberal political philosopher who died last week. Rawls based his case for economic redistribution on something called, “the original position,” in which you imagine choosing your place in life, without knowing anything about who you were–what class, religion, country, sex, etc. Rawls’s liberalism has been criticized for its inability to come to grips with the real social habits and experiences that make us what we are. My point today is something like that. In any case, for a wonderful assessment of Rawls, check out this new piece by Peter Berkowitz. And for an earlier Berkowitz assessment, check out this.