Book Review of Catherine Audard, John Rawls, Montréal, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007, 328 pages

Catherine Audard’s book offers a concise reading of John Rawls’s political philosophy. It is all at once instructive, pedagogical, provocative, and well informed about the secondary literature. It uncovers the main tensions at work within Rawls’s theory and must be taken very seriously by all Rawlsian scholars. The central thesis of the book is that there is more continuity than disruption between Rawls’s A Theory of Justice (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press/Belknap, 1971; hereafter TOJ ) and his Political Liberalism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993; hereafter PL). She takes issue with Richard Rorty when he argues that there is a second Rawls, one that is more contextualist, communitarian, and no longer Kantian (18). In what follows, I shall concentrate on three claims: I shall move from what appears to be a marginal issue in her book (the first claim) to increasingly important ones (the second and third claims) that are central to her interpretation.

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