Friday, August 28, 2009
Rawls and Economics
I bet Rawls doesn't often get mentioned in philosophy of science circles. But here goes. A strain of argument in a recent review by Michael Rosen
of G.A. Cohen's (idealistic) criticism of Rawls, reminded me of the importance of Rawls' engagement with economics in the 50s and 60s--the crucial years in which *A Theory of Justice* got developed. (Interestingly, some of the most immediate and insightful responses to TJ came from economists like Arrow, Harsany, Buchanan.) Rawls is deeply enmeshed in the language of welfare economics, but he engages rather broadly with moral aspects of economics and he admits he uses economics to illustrate several of his main claims. Contemporary Rawlsians have tended to move away this engagement with the practice of political economy (and science more generally). Anyway, let me turn this into a question: does anybody know of any good secondary literature on Rawls and the Economists (broadly conceived)?