email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
Anger and Forgiveness"Are You There Alone?"10 Good Questions about Life and DeathA Casebook of Ethical Challenges in NeuropsychologyA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to Muslim EthicsA Cooperative SpeciesA Critique of the Moral Defense of VegetarianismA Delicate BalanceA Life for a LifeA Life-Centered Approach to BioethicsA Matter of SecurityA Natural History of Human MoralityA Philosophical DiseaseA Practical Guide to Clinical Ethics ConsultingA Question of TrustA Sentimentalist Theory of the MindA Short Stay in SwitzerlandA Very Bad WizardA World Without ValuesAction and ResponsibilityAction Theory, Rationality and CompulsionActs of ConscienceAddiction and ResponsibilityAddiction NeuroethicsAdvance Directives in Mental HealthAfter HarmAftermathAgainst AutonomyAgainst BioethicsAgainst HealthAgainst Moral ResponsibilityAgency and AnswerabilityAgency and ResponsibilityAgency, Freedom, and Moral ResponsibilityAging, Biotechnology, and the FutureAlbert Schweitzer's Reverence for LifeAlphavilleAltruismAmerican EugenicsAmerican PsychosisAn Anthology of Psychiatric EthicsAn Introduction to EthicsAn Introduction to Evolutionary EthicsAn Introduction to Kant's Moral Philosophy And a Time to DieAnimal LessonsAnimal RightsAnimals Like UsApplied Ethics in Mental Health CareAre Women Human?Aristotle on Practical WisdomAristotle's Ethics and Moral ResponsibilityAssisted Suicide and the Right to DieAutonomyAutonomy and the Challenges to LiberalismAutonomy, Consent and the LawBabies by DesignBackslidingBad PharmaBad SoulsBasic Desert, Reactive Attitudes and Free WillBeauty JunkiesBefore ForgivingBeing AmoralBeing YourselfBending Over BackwardsBending ScienceBernard WilliamsBetter Humans?Better Than WellBeyond ChoiceBeyond GeneticsBeyond HatredBeyond Humanity?Beyond LossBeyond LossBeyond Moral JudgmentBeyond the DSM StoryBias in Psychiatric DiagnosisBioethicsBioethicsBioethics and the BrainBioethics at the MoviesBioethics Beyond the HeadlinesBioethics Critically ReconsideredBioethics in a Liberal SocietyBioethics in the ClinicBiomedical EthicsBiomedical EthicsBiomedical EthicsBiomedical EthicsBiomedical Research and BeyondBiosBioscience EthicsBipolar ChildrenBluebirdBodies out of BoundsBodies, Commodities, and BiotechnologiesBody BazaarBoundBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBraintrustBrandedBreaking the SilenceBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyCapital PunishmentCase Studies in Biomedical Research EthicsChallenging the Stigma of Mental IllnessCharacter and Moral Psychology Character as Moral FictionChild Well-BeingChildrenChildren's RightsChoosing ChildrenChoosing Not to ChooseClinical Dilemmas in PsychotherapyClinical EthicsCloningClose toYouCoercion as CureCoercive Treatment in PsychiatryCognition of Value in Aristotle's EthicsCognitive Disability and Its Challenge to Moral Philosophy Comfortably NumbCommonsense RebellionCommunicative Action and Rational ChoiceCompetence, Condemnation, and CommitmentComprehending CareConducting Insanity EvaluationsConfidential RelationshipsConfidentiality and Mental HealthConflict of Interest in the ProfessionsConsuming KidsContemporary Debates In Applied EthicsContemporary Debates in Moral TheoryContemporary Debates in Social PhilosophyContentious IssuesContesting PsychiatryCrazy in AmericaCreating CapabilitiesCreatures Like Us?Crime and CulpabilityCrime, Punishment, and Mental IllnessCritical Perspectives in Public HealthCritical PsychiatryCrueltyCultural Assessment in Clinical PsychiatryCutting to the CoreCyborg CitizenDamaged IdentitiesDeaf Identities in the MakingDeath Is That Man Taking NamesDebating Same-Sex MarriageDecision Making, Personhood and DementiaDecoding the Ethics CodeDefining DifferenceDefining Right and Wrong in Brain ScienceDefining the Beginning and End of LifeDelusions of GenderDementiaDemocracy in What State?Demons of the Modern WorldDescriptions and PrescriptionsDesert and VirtueDesire, Practical Reason, and the GoodDestructive Trends in Mental HealthDid My Neurons Make Me Do It?Difference and IdentityDigital HemlockDigital SoulDignityDisability BioethicsDisability, Difference, DiscriminationDisordered Personalities and CrimeDisorders of VolitionDisorientation and Moral LifeDivided Minds and Successive SelvesDoes Feminism Discriminate against Men?Does Torture Work?Double Standards in Medical Research in Developing CountriesDrugs and JusticeDworkin and His CriticsDying in the Twenty-First CenturyEarly WarningEconomics and Youth ViolenceEmbodied RhetoricsEmerging Conceptual, Ethical and Policy Issues in BionanotechnologyEmotional ReasonEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions in the Moral LifeEmpathyEmpathy and Moral DevelopmentEmpathy and MoralityEmpirical Ethics in PsychiatryEncountering NatureEncountering the Sacred in PsychotherapyEngendering International HealthEnhancing EvolutionEnhancing Human CapacitiesEnoughEros and the GoodErotic InnocenceErotic MoralityEssays on Derek Parfit's On What MattersEssays on Free Will and Moral ResponsibilityEthical Choices in Contemporary MedicineEthical Conflicts in PsychologyEthical Dilemmas in PediatricsEthical Issues in Behavioral ResearchEthical Issues in Dementia CareEthical Issues in Forensic Mental Health ResearchEthical Issues in the New GeneticsEthical LifeEthical Reasoning for Mental Health ProfessionalsEthical TheoryEthical WillsEthically Challenged ProfessionsEthicsEthicsEthicsEthics and AnimalsEthics and ScienceEthics and the A PrioriEthics and the Discovery of the UnconsciousEthics and the Metaphysics of MedicineEthics at the CinemaEthics Case Book of the American Psychoanalytic AssociationEthics Done RightEthics ExpertiseEthics for EveryoneEthics for PsychologistsEthics for the New MillenniumEthics in CyberspaceEthics in Health CareEthics In Health Services ManagementEthics in Mental Health ResearchEthics in PracticeEthics in PsychiatryEthics in PsychologyEthics in Psychotherapy and CounselingEthics of PsychiatryEthics without OntologyEthics, Culture, and PsychiatryEthics, Sexual Orientation, and Choices about ChildrenEvaluating the Science and Ethics of Research on HumansEvilEvil GenesEvil in Modern ThoughtEvil in Modern ThoughtEvolution, Gender, and RapeEvolutionary Ethics and Contemporary BiologyEvolutionary Psychology and ViolenceEvolved MoralityExperiments in EthicsExploding the Gene MythExploiting ChildhoodFacing Human SufferingFact and ValueFaking ItFalse-Memory Creation in Children and AdultsFat ShameFatal FreedomFellow-Feeling and the Moral LifeFeminism and Its DiscontentsFeminist Ethics and Social and Political PhilosophyFeminist TheoryFinal ExamFirst Do No HarmFirst, Do No HarmFlashpointFlesh WoundsForced to CareForgivenessForgivenessForgiveness and LoveForgiveness and ReconciliationForgiveness and RetributionFoucault and the Government of DisabilityFoundational Issues in Human Brain MappingFoundations of Forensic Mental Health AssessmentFree WillFree Will And Moral ResponsibilityFree Will and Reactive AttitudesFree Will, Agency, and Meaning in LifeFree?Freedom and ValueFreedom vs. InterventionFriendshipFrom Darwin to HitlerFrom Disgust to HumanityFrom Enlightenment to ReceptivityFrom Morality to Mental HealthFrom Silence to VoiceFrontiers of JusticeGender in the MirrorGenetic PoliticsGenetic ProspectsGenetic ProspectsGenetics of Original SinGenetics of Original SinGenocide's AftermathGetting RealGluttonyGood WorkGoodness & AdviceGreedGroups in ConflictGrowing Up GirlGut FeminismHabilitation, Health, and AgencyHandbook for Health Care Ethics CommitteesHandbook of BioethicsHandbook of PsychopathyHappinessHappiness and the Good LifeHappiness Is OverratedHard FeelingsHard LuckHardwired BehaviorHarmful ThoughtsHeal & ForgiveHealing PsychiatryHealth Care Ethics for PsychologistsHeterosyncraciesHistorical and Philosophical Perspectives on Biomedical EthicsHoly WarHookedHookedHow Can I Be Trusted?How Propaganda WorksHow to Do Things with Pornography How to Make Opportunity EqualHow Universities Can Help Create a Wiser WorldHow We HopeHow We Think About DementiaHuman BondingHuman EnhancementHuman GoodnessHuman Identity and BioethicsHuman TrialsHumanism, What's That?Humanitarian ReasonHumanityHumanizing MadnessI am Not Sick I Don't Need Help!I Was WrongIdentifying Hyperactive ChildrenIf That Ever Happens to MeImproving Nature?In Defense of FloggingIn Defense of SinIn Love With LifeIn Our Own ImageIn the FamilyIn the Land of the DeafIn the Name of IdentityIn the Wake of 9/11In Two MindsInformed Consent in Medical ResearchInnovation in Medical TechnologyInside Assisted LivingInside EthicsIntelligence, Race, and GeneticsIntensive CareIs Human Nature Obsolete?Is Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Is There a Duty to Die?Is There an Ethicist in the House?Issues in Philosophical CounselingJudging Children As ChildrenJust a DogJust BabiesJust CareJustice for ChildrenJustice for HedgehogsJustice in RobesJustice, Luck, and KnowledgeJustifiable ConductKant on Moral AutonomyKant's Theory of VirtueKids of CharacterKilling McVeighLack of CharacterLack of CharacterLaw and the BrainLearning About School ViolenceLeaving YouLectures on the History of Political PhilosophyLegal and Ethical Aspects of HealthcareLegal Aspects of Mental CapacityLegal ConceptionsLegalizing ProstitutionLet Them Eat ProzacLevelling the Playing FieldLiberal Education in a Knowledge SocietyLiberal EugenicsLife After FaithLife at the BottomLife, Sex, and IdeasListening to the WhispersLiving ProfessionalismLosing Matt ShepardLostLuckyMad in AmericaMad PrideMadhouseMaking Another World PossibleMaking Babies, Making FamiliesMaking Genes, Making WavesMaking Sense of Freedom and ResponsibilityMalignantMasculinity Studies and Feminist TheoryMeaning and Moral OrderMeaning in LifeMeaning in Life and Why It MattersMeans, Ends, and PersonsMedical Enhancement and PosthumanityMedical Research for HireMedicalized MasculinitiesMedically Assisted DeathMeditations for the HumanistMelancholia and MoralismMental Health Professionals, Minorities and the PoorMental Illness, Medicine and LawMerit, Meaning, and Human BondageMetaethical SubjectivismMill's UtilitarianismMind FieldsMind WarsMind WarsModern Theories of JusticeModernity and TechnologyMoney ShotMonsterMoral Acquaintances and Moral DecisionsMoral ClarityMoral CultivationMoral Development and RealityMoral Dilemmas in Real LifeMoral DimensionsMoral EntanglementsMoral FailureMoral LiteracyMoral MachinesMoral MindsMoral OriginsMoral Panics, Sex PanicsMoral ParticularismMoral PerceptionMoral PsychologyMoral Psychology: Volume IVMoral RealismMoral RelativismMoral RepairMoral Responsibility and Alternative PossibilitiesMoral Status and Human LifeMoral StealthMoral Theory at the MoviesMoral TribesMoral Value and Human DiversityMoral, Immoral, AmoralMoralismMorality and Self-InterestMorality in a Natural WorldMorality, Moral Luck and ResponsibilityMorals, Rights and Practice in the Human ServicesMorals, Rights and Practice in the Human ServicesMore Than HumanMotive and RightnessMovies and the Moral Adventure of LifeMurder in the InnMy Body PoliticMy Brain Made Me Do ItMy Sister's KeeperMy Sister's KeeperMy WayNano-Bio-EthicsNarrative MedicineNarrative ProsthesisNatural Ethical FactsNatural-Born CybogsNaturalized BioethicsNeither Bad nor MadNeoconservatismNeonatal BioethicsNeurobiology and the Development of Human MoralityNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNew Takes in Film-PhilosophyNew Waves in EthicsNew Waves in MetaethicsNietzsche on Ethics and PoliticsNo Child Left DifferentNo Impact ManNormative EthicsNormativityNothing about us, without us!Oath BetrayedOf War and LawOn ApologyOn Being AuthenticOn EvilOn Human RightsOn The Stigma Of Mental IllnessOn the TakeOn Virtue EthicsOn What MattersOn What We Owe to Each OtherOne ChildOne Nation Under TherapyOne World NowOne World NowOur Bodies, Whose Property?Our Bodies, Whose Property?Our Daily MedsOur Faithfulness to the PastOur Posthuman FutureOut of EdenOut of Its MindOut of the ShadowsOverdosed AmericaOxford Handbook of Psychiatric EthicsOxford Textbook of Philosophy of PsychiatryPassionate DeliberationPatient Autonomy and the Ethics of ResponsibilityPC, M.D.Perfecting VirtuePersonal AutonomyPersonal Autonomy in SocietyPersonal Identity and EthicsPersonhood and Health CarePersons, Humanity, and the Definition of DeathPerspectives On Health And Human RightsPharmacracyPharmageddonPhilosophy and This Actual WorldPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of Technology: The Technological ConditionPhysician-Assisted DyingPicturing DisabilityPilgrim at Tinker CreekPlaying God?Playing God?Political EmotionsPornlandPowerful MedicinesPractical Autonomy and BioethicsPractical EthicsPractical Ethics for PsychologistsPractical RulesPragmatic BioethicsPragmatic BioethicsPragmatic NeuroethicsPraise and BlamePreferences and Well-BeingPrimates and PhilosophersPro-Life, Pro-ChoiceProcreation and ParenthoodProfits Before People?Progress in BioethicsProperty in the BodyProzac As a Way of LifeProzac on the CouchPsychiatric Aspects of Justification, Excuse and Mitigation in Anglo-American Criminal Law Psychiatric EthicsPsychiatry and EmpirePsychological Concepts and Biological PsychiatryPsychology and Consumer CulturePsychology and LawPsychotropic Drug Prescriber's Survival GuidePublic Health LawPublic Health Law and EthicsPublic PhilosophyPunishing the Mentally IllPunishmentPursuits of WisdomPutting Morality Back Into PoliticsPutting on VirtueQuality of Life and Human DifferenceRaceRadical HopeRadical VirtuesRape Is RapeRe-creating MedicineRe-Engineering Philosophy for Limited BeingsReason's GriefReasonably ViciousReckoning With HomelessnessReconceiving Medical EthicsRecovery from SchizophreniaRedefining RapeRedesigning HumansReducing the Stigma of Mental IllnessReflections On How We LiveReframing Disease ContextuallyRefusing CareRefuting Peter Singer's Ethical TheoryRelative JusticeRelativism and Human RightsReligion ExplainedReprogeneticsRescuing JeffreyResponsibilityResponsibility and PsychopathyResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility from the MarginsResponsible GeneticsRethinking CommodificationRethinking Informed Consent in BioethicsRethinking Mental Health and DisorderRethinking RapeReturn to ReasonRevolution in PsychologyRightsRights, Democracy, and Fulfillment in the Era of Identity PoliticsRisk and Luck in Medical EthicsRobert NozickRousseau and the Dilemmas of Modernity Rule of Law, Misrule of MenRunning on RitalinSatisficing and MaximizingSchizophrenia, Culture, and SubjectivityScience and EthicsScience in the Private InterestScience, Policy, and the Value-Free IdealScience, Seeds and CyborgsScratching the Surface of BioethicsSecular Philosophy and the Religious TemperamentSeeing the LightSelf-ConstitutionSelf-Made MadnessSelf-Trust and Reproductive AutonomySentimental RulesSex Fiends, Perverts, and PedophilesSex OffendersSexual DevianceSexual EthicsSexual PredatorsSexualized BrainsShaping Our SelvesShock TherapyShould I Medicate My Child?ShunnedSick to Death and Not Going to Take It AnymoreSickoSide EffectsSidewalk StoriesSister CitizenSkeptical FeminismSocial Inclusion of People with Mental IllnessSocial JusticeSociological Perspectives on the New GeneticsSome We Love, Some We Hate, Some We EatSovereign VirtueSpiral of EntrapmentSplit DecisionsSticks and StonesStories MatterSubjectivity and Being SomebodySuffering, Death, and IdentitySuicide ProhibitionSurgery JunkiesSurgically Shaping ChildrenTaking Morality SeriouslyTaming the Troublesome ChildTechnology and the Good Life?TestimonyText and Materials on International Human RightsThe Aims of Higher EducationThe Almost MoonThe Altruistic BrainThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Forensic PsychiatryThe Animal ManifestoThe Art of LivingThe Autonomy of MoralityThe Beloved SelfThe Best Things in LifeThe Big FixThe Bioethics ReaderThe Biology and Psychology of Moral AgencyThe Blackwell Guide to Medical EthicsThe Body SilentThe BondThe Book of LifeThe Burden of SympathyThe Cambridge Companion to Virtue EthicsThe Cambridge Companion to Virtue EthicsThe Cambridge Textbook of BioethicsThe Case against Assisted SuicideThe Case Against PerfectionThe Case Against PunishmentThe Case for PerfectionThe Case of Terri SchiavoThe Challenge of Human RightsThe Code for Global EthicsThe Colonization Of Psychic SpaceThe Commercialization of Intimate LifeThe Common ThreadThe Connected SelfThe Constitution of AgencyThe Creation of PsychopharmacologyThe Criminal BrainThe Decency WarsThe Difficult-to-Treat Psychiatric PatientThe Disability PendulumThe Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to ConfrontationThe Domain of ReasonsThe Double-Edged HelixThe Duty to ProtectThe Emotional Construction of MoralsThe End of Ethics in a Technological SocietyThe End of Stigma?The Essentials of New York Mental Health LawThe Ethical BrainThe Ethical Dimensions of the Biological and Health SciencesThe Ethics of BioethicsThe Ethics of ParenthoodThe Ethics of SightseeingThe Ethics of the FamilyThe Ethics of the LieThe Ethics of TransplantsThe Ethics ToolkitThe Evolution of Mental Health LawThe Evolution of MoralityThe FamilyThe Fat Studies ReaderThe Forgiveness ProjectThe Form of Practical KnowledgeThe Fountain of YouthThe Freedom ParadoxThe Future of Assisted Suicide and EuthanasiaThe Future of Human NatureThe Good BookThe Good LifeThe Great BetrayalThe Handbook of Disability StudiesThe Healing VirtuesThe High Price of MaterialismThe History of Human RightsThe HorizonThe Idea of JusticeThe Ideal of NatureThe Illusion of Freedom and EqualityThe Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksThe Importance of Being UnderstoodThe Insanity OffenseThe Joy of SecularismThe Language PoliceThe Last Normal ChildThe Last UtopiaThe Limits of MedicineThe LobotomistThe Love CureThe Lucifer EffectThe Manual of EpictetusThe Mark of ShameThe Meaning of NiceThe Medicalization of SocietyThe Merck DruggernautThe Mind Has MountainsThe Modern Art of DyingThe Modern SavageThe Moral ArcThe Moral BrainThe Moral Demands of MemoryThe Moral FoolThe Moral MindThe Moral Psychology HandbookThe Moral, Social, and Commercial Imperatives of Genetic Testing and ScreeningThe Most Good You Can DoThe Myth of ChoiceThe Myth of the Moral BrainThe Nature of NormativityThe New Disability HistoryThe New Genetic MedicineThe New Religious IntoleranceThe Offensive InternetThe Origins of FairnessThe Oxford Handbook of Animal EthicsThe Oxford Handbook of Ethics at the End of LifeThe Perfect BabyThe Philosophy of NeedThe Philosophy of PornographyThe Philosophy of PsychiatryThe Politics Of LustThe Portable Ethicist for Mental Health Professionals The Power of Religion in the Public SphereThe Price of PerfectionThe Price of TruthThe Problem of PunishmentThe Prosthetic ImpulseThe Psychology of Good and EvilThe Psychology of Good and EvilThe PsychopathThe Purity MythThe Pursuit of PerfectionThe Relevance of Philosophy to LifeThe Right Road to Radical FreedomThe Right to Be ParentsThe Righteous MindThe Root of All EvilThe Rules of InsanityThe Second SexismThe Second-Person StandpointThe Silent World of Doctor and PatientThe Sleep of ReasonThe Social Psychology of Good and EvilThe Social Psychology of MoralityThe Social Psychology of MoralityThe Speed of DarkThe Stem Cell ControversyThe Stem Cell ControversyThe Story of Cruel and UnusualThe Story WithinThe Stubborn System of Moral ResponsibilityThe Suicide TouristThe Terrible GiftThe Theory of OptionsThe Therapy of DesireThe Trauma of Psychological TortureThe Trauma of Psychological TortureThe Triple HelixThe Trolley Problem MysteriesThe Trouble with DiversityThe Truth About the Drug CompaniesThe Ugly LawsThe Varieties of Religious ExperienceThe Virtues of HappinessThe Virtuous Life in Greek EthicsThe Virtuous PsychiatristThe Voice of Breast Cancer in Medicine and BioethicsThe War Against BoysThe War for Children's MindsThe Whole ChildThe Woman RacketThe Worldwide Practice of TortureTherapy with ChildrenThieves of VirtueThree Generations, No ImbecilesTimes of Triumph, Times of DoubtTolerance Among The VirtuesTolerance and the Ethical LifeTolerationToxic PsychiatryTrauma, Truth and ReconciliationTreatment Kind and FairTrusting on the EdgeTry to RememberUltimate JudgementUnborn in the USA: Inside the War on AbortionUndermining ScienceUnderstanding AbortionUnderstanding CloningUnderstanding EmotionsUnderstanding EvilUnderstanding Moral ObligationUnderstanding Physician-Pharmaceutical Industry InteractionsUnderstanding TerrorismUnderstanding the GenomeUnderstanding the Stigma of Mental IllnessUnderstanding Treatment Without ConsentUnhingedUnprincipled VirtueUnsanctifying Human Life: Essays on EthicsUnspeakable Acts, Ordinary PeopleUp in FlamesUpheavals of ThoughtUsers and Abusers of PsychiatryValue-Free Science?Values and Psychiatric DiagnosisValues in ConflictVegetarianismViolence and Mental DisorderVirtue EthicsVirtue, Rules, and JusticeVirtue, Vice, and PersonalityVirtues and Their VicesWar Against the WeakWar, Torture and TerrorismWarrior's DishonourWeaknessWelfare and Rational CareWhat Genes Can't DoWhat Have We DoneWhat Is a Human?What Is Good and WhyWhat Is Good and WhyWhat Is the Good Life?What Price Better Health?What Should I Do?What We Owe to Each OtherWhat Would Aristotle Do?What's Good on TVWhat's Normal?What's Wrong with Children's RightsWhat's Wrong with Homosexuality?What's Wrong With Morality?When Is Discrimination Wrong?Who Holds the Moral High Ground?Who Owns YouWho Qualifies for Rights?Whose America?Whose View of Life?Why Animals MatterWhy Animals MatterWhy I Burned My Book and Other Essays on DisabilityWhy Not Kill Them All?Why Punish? How Much?Why Some Things Should Not Be for SaleWisdom, Intuition and EthicsWithout ConscienceWomen and Borderline Personality DisorderWomen and MadnessWondergenesWould You Kill the Fat Man?Wrestling with Behavioral GeneticsWriting About PatientsYou Must Be DreamingYour Genetic DestinyYour Inner FishYouth Offending and Youth Justice Yuck!
From 1962 to 1991, John Rawls served as a professor of philosophy at Harvard University. One of the courses he taught repeatedly over this 30 year period was Philosophy 171 -- Modern Political Philosophy. Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy invites the reader into Rawls's classroom to explore with him themes from the history of political thought. The invitation comes complete with lecture notes, syllabus, and even the handouts Rawls distributed to students in the course. It is an invitation well worth accepting.
Two kinds of reader, in particular, will welcome this book. The first is the reader with an interest in seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth century political philosophy. Rawls focuses on Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Butler, Mill, Sidgwick, and Marx. Rawls's lectures would be an excellent companion text for a course that examined these figures. However, one need not be enrolled in formal academic study to find the book rewarding. As with most lectures, the person who has been reading the primary texts under discussion will get more out of Rawls's lectures than will the one who merely reads Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy. Nevertheless, one need not have read Hobbes, et. al. to find Rawls's lectures interesting and instructive.
The second kind of reader who will welcome this book is the person with an interest in Rawls's own political philosophy. One need not be familiar with Rawls's other work to find the text engaging. However, those who are familiar with his corpus will find the lectures that much more rewarding, insofar as they will be able to trace their connections with themes that he explores at length elsewhere. The lectures included in Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy made up about half of the material covered in Rawls's political philosophy class. The other half dealt with themes from A Theory of Justice (Harvard, 1971 -- the book for which Rawls is best known) and was eventually incorporated into Justice as Fairness: A Restatement (Harvard, 2001). Because Rawls would be introducing students to his own work later in the course, he frequently takes the opportunity in these lectures to draw attention to questions that these authors raise to which Rawls himself attempts to give an answer in A Theory of Justice and the Restatement. He explores the ways in which Hobbes and company respond to these questions, noting both the strengths and potential weaknesses of their answers. Consequently, Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy offers a more explicit indication of the influence that various historical figures had on the development of Rawls's own thought than is found in many of his other works.
The fundamental aim of political philosophy, Rawls suggests in the opening lecture, is "by study and reflection" to "elaborate deeper and more instructive conceptions of basic political ideas that help us clarify our judgments about institutions and policies" (1). It examines our notions of "justice and the common good" and assesses how well actual and/or possible institutional arrangements promote them (5). These opening remarks in many ways set the stage for the rest of the book. For, although Rawls seeks to allow each author to speak in that author's own voice and address that author's own distinct questions, in each case, Rawls will return to the question, 'What are the author's conceptions of justice and the common good and what institutional arrangements does he think will best promote them?'
The most plausible approach to the fundamental questions of political philosophy, Rawls thinks, is the one developed in the social contract tradition, which is exemplified in the work of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. A central commitment of that tradition is that "A legitimate regime is such that its political and social institutions are justifiable to all citizens -- to each and every one -- by addressing their reason, theoretical and practical"(13). One way to ascertain whether a regime satisfies this condition is to ask whether it is an arrangement that free people would choose to adopt for themselves. Would thinking people who had a choice in the matter agree to enter a contract that had these details? If so, then according to the social contract tradition, the arrangement is legitimate. However, not all members of the social contract tradition agree about which arrangements would in fact meet with the assent of thoughtful people. So one of the focal concerns explored in the lectures is the distinction between different representatives of the social contract tradition, and the reasons for the differences in their views. Rawls's second focal concern in the book is with various criticisms that might be raised against social contract theory from outside the tradition. He looks at five theorists who are in one way or another critical of the social contract tradition. He uses three -- Hume, Mill, and Sidgwick -- to articulate strands of the utilitarian critique of and alternative to social contract theory. The other two, Marx and Butler, enable him to articulate Marxist and intuitionist objections to aspects of the social contract tradition.
Although the book is unified around the theme of the social contract and its critics and around the question of the nature of justice, the common good, and the kinds of institutions and policies that might promote them, it does not aim to defend a single thesis or to develop a sustained argument. It is in many ways like a wander through a workman's tool shed, collecting instruments that Rawls will eventually use in the construction of Justice as Fairness: A Restatement. I shall highlight just a few of the many tools Rawls finds useful.
Perhaps the most common way to understand Hobbes's social contract is as a way of explaining how a civil society could have come into existence in the first place. Interpreted in this way, the idea of people coming together and agreeing to limit some of their actions in exchange for certain benefits addresses the question, 'How and why did civic life originate?' However, a second interpretation is possible and, Rawls thinks, more promising. According to the second interpretation, Hobbes is less concerned with the evolution of society than with its devolution. He is more interested in how one can keep an already existing society from coming apart at the seams in the way it did during the English Civil War. In the face of the disasters that accompany the breakdown of society, "Hobbes thinks that all have a sufficient reason based on their own self-preservation and fundamental interests to enter into a covenant with all to authorize the Sovereign to continue to exercise his powers in perpetuity"(32). On this reading, the idea of the social contract is most useful not as a tool for understanding the origins of society but rather as an argument in favor of its preservation.
The concern to identify the conditions under which a society may enjoy stability is one of the tools Rawls collects from Hobbes and carries forward into his own work, beginning in part III of A Theory of Justice and continuing through Political Liberalism (Columbia, 1993) and the Restatement. However, Rawls argues, Hobbes's attempt to ground a stable society in an arrangement that appeals exclusively to the (narrowly defined) self-interest of its citizens is doomed to fail. Hobbes may be able to explain why it is rational for someone to submit to an effective sovereign, but he cannot adequately explain why it is obligatory, because one cannot adequately capture the ideas of obligation, fairness, the honoring of promises, and the like, merely by appealing to an individual's self-interest. A stable society, Rawls argues, will need to be attentive to reasons grounded in "being fair-minded, judicious, able to see other points of view" -- what Rawls call the reasonable -- as well as those grounded in "furthering the advantage of oneself" -- which Rawls calls the rational (54ff.).
Locke takes a considerable step beyond Hobbes, Rawls suggests, by attending to both kinds of reasons, i.e., to both the reasonable and the rational. He also appreciates the important difference "between a supreme (or final) e.g. legislative power and an unlimited one," which Hobbes overlooks (86). As a result of overlooking these differences Hobbes mistakenly tried to ground political authority in the power of the sovereign to arrange society in such a way that it was in the rational self-interest of everyone to obey. Locke, by contrast, argues that, "legitimate political power can only be founded on consent" (124). This consent must be grounded in what is both "reasonable and rational from everyone's point of view" (129).
Rousseau adds two further ideas to the social contract tradition that Rawls considers particularly insightful. The first is the idea that there is "a distinct form of self-concern that arises only in society." It is a concern "which directs us to secure for ourselves equal standing along with others and a position among our associates in which we are accepted as having needs and aspirations which must be taken into account on the same basis as those of everyone else" (198). In a well organized society, this social form of self-concern readies us to accept a principle of reciprocity, whereby we give to others the kind of attention and respect that we ask from them and they treat us in the same fashion. In a badly organized society, the social form of self-concern may be perverted into arrogance, vanity, and the desire to dominate (199).
The second of Rousseau's ideas that Rawls appropriates is the notion that legitimate political authority is grounded in what Rawls calls "public reason"(231). When we engage in deliberation about a particular policy, we might do so from the point of view of narrow self-interest, a la Hobbes. Or we may do so with an eye to the common good, i.e., to "social conditions that make possible, or assist, citizens' attaining their common interests"(225). Legitimate political arrangements will be formed with an eye toward pursuing the common interest and promoting the common good, rather than on the basis of merely individual interests. One reason we have for giving this sort or priority to our common interests is because doing so, Rousseau thinks, enables us to "realize the conditions of our capacity for free will and for our perfectibility without personal dependence"(243). The lectures in which Rawls attempts to explain why Rousseau thinks our free will depends on being governed by laws that give priority to our common interests are among the richest in the book and are well worth more than one reading.
Having devoted 220 of the opening 250 pages to the development of the social contract tradition, Rawls then turns his attention to some of its historic critics. Within the 'critics' section, the best-developed lectures are those devoted to Mill and Marx. One of the ideas he explores in the Mill lectures is the way in which a utilitarian and a social contract theorist could come to agree on the fundamental principles of social and political life in spite of the fact that they disagree on what kinds of things have moral weight and why. It provides a kind of case study in how people who adopt different moral viewpoints could nonetheless come to what Rawls calls "an overlapping consensus" (267). That is, they can agree on basic principles for governing political life (the 'consensus' part of 'overlapping consensus'), even though there reasons for agreeing to these principles might be quite different (which is why he describes the consensus as 'overlapping' rather than, say, uniform).
The central question Rawls explores in his discussion of Marx is whether justice is merely a notion rooted in features of the economic and productive life of a society at a given period in time. If it is, then it might be replaced and/or surpassed when society is organized around a different economic system. Our notions of justice, even our clearest and most reflective ones, might not be relevant to a different society, especially a better one. Having marched out a number of reasons for thinking notions of justice are inextricably tied to particular modes of production, Rawls then provides textual reasons for thinking this was not Marx's own view. Rawls argues that Marx employs a conception of justice in his critique of the capitalist mode of production, a conception whose legitimacy does not appear to be inseparably bound to a particular mode of production. If this argument is correct, then it calls into question the extent to which the ideal society should be thought of as existing "beyond justice" (371).
The lectures on Hume, Butler, and Sidgwick are less well developed than the other lectures in the volume. These figures were not a regular feature of Rawls's Modern Political Philosophy course, so the notes did not get filled in and reworked as thoroughly as did those dealing with Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, and Marx. Nevertheless, the lectures on Hume, Butler, and Sidgwick, like the lectures on Mill, will come as a welcome addition to Rawls's previously published Lectures on the History of Moral Philosophy (Harvard, 2000). However, readers would be advised to supplement the two Hume lectures in Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy, with the four, much more polished, lectures on Hume that appeared in the earlier collection of lectures on moral philosophy.
The conversation that unfolds in the course of these lectures is a wonderful illustration of the principle of charity in interpretation (see pages 52 and 268 for two of the many articulations of this principle that occur throughout the book). Each lecture attempts to see what the author under review gets right, to lay out his arguments in the clearest and most persuasive way, and to bolster those arguments where needed in order to give them the firmest possible footing. It also illustrates one of the challenges of charitable interpretation, which is that there is a fine line between making a position sound as persuasive as possible and making it sound as much like one's own position as possible. Rawls, of course, is aware of this challenge and attempts to navigate it with care and integrity. However, there are moments where the distinctions between, for example, 1) Hobbes's view, and 2) Rawls on Hobbes's view, and 3) Rawls's own view can be difficult to trace.
On the whole, the Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy are a welcome addition to Rawls's corpus. Both students with a general interest in the history of political thought and those with a more specific interest in Rawls's own political philosophy will find them well worth reading.
© 2007 Glen Pettigrove
Glen Pettigrove, Ph.D., School of History, Philosophy and Classics, Massey University, New Zealand.