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A Beginner's Guide

Paul Graham

‘The principles of justice are chosen behind a veil of ignorance’
– John Rawls, A Theory of Justice

What is justice? How can we know it? How can we make our society more just? The most significant political philosopher since John Stuart Mill, John Rawls (1921 – 2002) grappled with such dilemmas. His work has been the source not only of academic argument, but also of political debate and legislative reform, arguing that we have a moral duty to organise society so as to rectify undeserved inequality.

In the first introduction to Rawls’s work which encompasses his entire career, Dr Paul Graham combines lucid exposition with thought-provoking criticism. Locating Rawls in the rich history of political thought, Graham explores a theory that remains fiercely relevant as the developed world sees unprecedented levels of inequality. For anyone concerned with how society works, this is a vital introduction to one of the great modern philosophers and to a subject that is crucial to how we live.

  • Publication date: November 5, 2015
  • ISBN: 9781780748115
  • RRP: £9.99
  • Pages: 208
  • Publication date: November 5, 2015
  • ISBN: 9781780748122
  • RRP: £4.99
  • Pages: 208


An excellent overview of Rawl's contributions to contemporary political theory. A flair for the clear presentation and application of difficult ideas make this text an excellent resource.

Dr Iain MacKenzie – Senior Lecturer in Politics, University of Kent

Graham's lucid and penetrating study makes Rawl's thought accessible for those coming to it for the first time, whilst also doing full justice to its detail and subtlety.

Peter Jones – Emeritus Professor of Political Philosophy, Newcastle University

“An unusually comprehensive and clear introduction to the works of John Rawls – one of the foremost liberal political philosophers of the twentieth century.”

Howard Williams – Professor in Political Theory, Aberystwyth University, Wales

Paul Graham

Paul Graham is Lecturer in Politics at the University of Glasgow.

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