Analyse & Kritik

Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory


"Katrina Forrester"

Titel: Liberalism and Social Theory after John Rawls
Autor: Katrina Forrester
Seite: 1-22

Does neo-Rawlsian political philosophy offer an adequate account of the social conditions of capitalism? In this paper, I present two arguments for thinking that it does not. First, I develop a historicist critique of liberal egalitarianism, arguing that it provides a vision of social reality that is intimately connected to the historical and ideological constellation that I call postwar liberalism, and as such cannot account for social reality since the neoliberal revolutions of the late twentieth century. Second, I explore arguments in Marxist and critical social theory that cast liberal egalitarianism as partial, on account of its inadequate portrait of capitalist society. In surveying responses to these critiques, I argue that merely extending liberal egalitarianism into new domains to account for how contemporary circumstances have changed since the mid-twentieth century cannot address the problem of its partial view of the social world. Taking seriously the insights of critical social theory and the study of capitalism should lead to a challenge to liberal egalitarianism, not an extension of it.

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Titel: Capitalism, Justice, and the Boundaries of Liberalism
Autor: Steven Lukes
Seite: 31-39

The argument of Katrina Forrester’s In the Shadow of Justice explains the present neglect of Rawlsian thinking in the social and political world beyond academia. She there convincingly shows how its deep assumptions, conceptual framing and narrow view of what constitutes politics disabled it from grappling with the subsequent massive transformations of capitalism. Her second argument, advanced in her article and questioned here, offers an ideology critique of Rawlsian thinking that claims, in its strongest version, that such thinking fails to acknowledge that capitalism is not reformable and that this failure derives from its liberal assumptions. What is needed, she claims, is a critique that implies the feasibility of attaining a post-capitalist world that is based on a theory that goes beyond the boundaries of liberalism.

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