John Rawls

No contemporary philosopher has had more influence on political philosophy than John Rawls. With A Theory of Justice, published in 1971, Rawls both reinvigorated the then-moribund discipline and provided the theory to which nearly everything that followed was a response.

While most libertarians disagree with the core positions Rawls set out, some have argued that his ideas are in fact quite compatible with libertarian policies. Regardless of his compatibility with libertarianism, however, John Rawls is a massively influential thinker—and one any student of liberty should be familiar with.

Free Thoughts

Arguments for Liberty: Rawlsianism

featuring Kevin Vallier, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Jul 7, 2017

Kevin Vallier joins us to talk about his Arguments for Liberty chapter on the ethical system of John Rawls. Does Rawls have value for libertarians?


Rawls, John (1921-2002)

by Will Wilkinson on Aug 15, 2008

John Rawls was a political theorist who revived interest in the field. Though not libertarian, his work can be interpreted in support of some free-market ideas.


A Rawlsian Case for Libertarianism

by Kevin Vallier on Jan 3, 2017

The ethical system of John Rawls, properly understood, justifies libertarian political institutions.