Justice and state in the lLberal – Communitarian debate (Master thesis)

Σκολαρίκης, Γεώργιος


In my master thesis I attempt to present the rawlsian liberalism, as well as the criticism to it, both from the communitarian point of view (more specifically by Michael Sandel and Alasdair MacIntyre) and from the libertarian point of view by Robert Nozick. My final goal is to defend Rawls’ theory of justice and the liberal welfare state. The project takes the following form; the introductory chapter refers to the importance of Rawls as the “reviver” of political philosophy and presents briefly the main aspects of the equalizing liberalism the communitarianism and the libertarianism (neoliberalism). Afterwards, I deal with the liberal aspects of Rawls, as they are unfold in his most significant work A Theory of Justice (1971). Thereafter, I present the communitarian critique of Sandel to Rawls, through his work Liberalism and the Limits of Justice (1982). Thence, I refer to the attempt of Rawls to embody the communitarian criticism in his next work Political Liberalism (1993) and I try to present the critique of Sandel to the revised theory of Rawls. After the confrontation between these two thinkers I attempt to present the thought of Alasdair MacIntyre through his main works and mainly After Virtue (1981). I focus on his critique to liberalism generally and to Rawls particularly, as a “symptom” of the wider liberal tradition. Furthermore, I analyze his perceptions about the notion of state, where he comes to contradiction with other communitarians. Subsequently, I attempt to criticize some of the main MacIntyre’s aspects. In the end, I attempt a general evaluation of liberal – communitarian debate, where I conclude that liberalism won the dispute but not without “casualties” and I try to justify this point of view. In the next chapter, I deal with the theory of justice of Robert Nozick and his criticism to Rawls’ theory of justice, as it is indicated in his work Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974). I try to refute the main aspects of Nozick and prove his criticism misguided. Finally, a general criticism to libertarian point of view as it is expressed mainly by Nozick and Hayek is attempted. Overall, I deduce that communitarian and libertarian critiques cannot “unsettle” the cohesion of the theoretical structure of Theory of Justice. However, the critiques to Political Liberalism are more plausible, which I discuss a bit more. I consider that Rawls in Political Liberalism builds an artificial field of discourse, which in fact is unsuitable for resolving true conflicts and moreover Rawls seems to promote the consent against truth. This strategy seems to “slides” dangerously to relativism. In the end, I analyze briefly the negative consequences of communitarianism and libertarianism and declare my conviction that rawlsian theory is more stable and preferable than these two critiques. However, I suggest (and with that I finish) that a more plausible critique to Rawls’ aspects may be expressed by neomarxist or neorepublican terms.
Institution and School/Department of submitter: Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων. Φιλοσοφική Σχολή. Τμήμα Φιλοσοφίας Παιδαγωγικής και Ψυχολογίας
Subject classification: Δικαιοσύνη
Keywords: Δικαιοσύνη,Φιλελευθερισμός,Κοινοτισμός,Φιλελεύθερη κοινοτιστική διαμάχη,Justice,Liberalism,Communitarianism,Liberal – communitarian debate
URI: http://olympias.lib.uoi.gr/jspui/handle/123456789/29019
Appears in Collections:Διατριβές Μεταπτυχιακής Έρευνας (Masters)

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