The Journal of Ethics

, 15:227 | Cite as

Interpreting Rawls: An Essay on Audard, Freeman, and Pogge

  • Henry S. Richardson


This review essay on three recent books on John Rawls’s theory of justice, by Catherine Audard, Samuel Freeman, and Thomas Pogge, describes the great boon they offer serious students of Rawls. They form a united front in firmly and definitively rebuffing Robert Nozick’s libertarian critique, Michael Sandel’s communitarian critique, and more generally critiques of “neutralist liberalism,” as well as in affirming the basic unity of Rawls’s position. At a deeper level, however, they diverge, and in ways that, this essay suggests, go astray on subtle questions of interpretation: Freeman overemphasizes reciprocity, Pogge miscasts Rawls as a consequentialist, and Audard exaggerates the Kantian aspect of Rawls’s core, continuing commitment to “doctrinal autonomy.”


Rawls, John Audard, Catherine Freeman, Samuel Pogge, Thomas Justice Reciprocity Consequentialism Autonomy 


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  3. Pogge, Thomas. 2007. John Rawls: His life and theory of justice (trans. Michelle Kosch). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Georgetown UniversityWashingtonUSA

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