Date of Award

5-3-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Andrew Altman - Chair

Second Advisor

Andrew J. Cohen

Third Advisor

Christie Hartley

Abstract

George Klosko attempts to solve a problem put forth by Rawls, namely how to create a persisting, just and stable liberal democracy in light of pluralism. He believes Rawls has failed at this task through the employment of political constructivism. Klosko claims that since Rawls does not utilize actual views within the existing public to form principles of justice, his method would fail to reach an overlapping consensus. As an alternative, Klosko proposes the method of convergence, which utilizes actual societal views to find overlapping concepts that inform the principles of justice. My argument is that Klosko misconstrues the method and aims of political constructivism. Klosko seems to incorrectly believe that stability is primary to establishing a liberal democracy, whereas it is secondary to the achievement of justice. Because of this error, Klosko’s method of convergence potentially has the consequence of creating a society which is stable but unjust.

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