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John Rawls (1921–2002) was one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century. Within the analytic tradition in political philosophy, he was arguably the most influential. His work has been translated into more than 20 languages and has shaped the debates in normative political philosophy since the 1970s. This entry will focus on two of his books, A Theory of Justice (1971) and Political Liberalism (1993), presenting the evolution of his philosophical views on social justice and their impact on debates about the role of education in the promotion of justice.

The Theory of Justice as Fairness

Rawls’s theory, as first formulated in A Theory of Justice (1971), discusses justice as a property of the set of major political, economic, and social institutions of a ...

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