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Rawls: An Introduction is a uniquely comprehensive introduction to the work of the American philosopher John Rawls. In the 1950s and 1960s, political philosophy seemed to have reached a dead end characterized by a predominance of utilitarian theses.
Rawls’s conception of liberalism placed civil liberties and social justice at its core, and his extraordinary influence has only been confirmed by the extent of the criticism he has provoked. The book is divided into three parts which correspond to Rawls’s three major books. The first concentrates on A Theory of Justice (1971) and examines the way in which Rawls’s general vision of social justice is presented. Maffettone also includes here a discussion of the most important critiques of Rawls.
The second part highlights Political Liberalism (1993–6). Finally, the third part provides a discussion of The Law of Peoples (1999). This work is a comprehensive examination of these three major texts by a renowned Rawls scholar and will appeal to all philosophers and social scientists for whom it is essential to understand the key theories of this most influential of political philosophers.