Bringing Robust Reasonableness into View
This chapter marks an important transition: we shift our focus from the moral and political Lectures —as well as the Rousseauvian and Hegelian features of justice as fairness outlined therein-to a reconsideration of Rawls’s own normative theory in light of its extensive and yet underappreciated non-Kantian heritage. This shift in focus and in emphasis is both deliberate and necessary: we are interested not only in Rawls’s interpretation of the history of political thought; we are equally, perhaps more, interested in Rawls’s unique contribution to that ongoing dialogue. The goal of this fourth chapter is thus to synthesize the findings of the previous three and to consider the implications of the unconventional image of Rawls’s thought offered in those earlier chapters. In doing so, we get a more complete, nuanced-and, in my view, attractive —image of the moral and political philosophy of John Rawls and of Rawlsian reasonableness in particular. I call this latter notion robust reasonableness.