"THE MOST SUBSTANTIAL AND INTERESTING CONTRIBUTION TO MORAL PHILOSOPHY SINCE THE WAR"
RAWLS, John. A Theory of Justice. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1971. Octavo, original purple cloth, original dust jacket. $6500.
First edition, first printing, of John Rawls' landmark work, a milestone in political philosophy, a handsome copy in original dust jacket.
John Rawls "was arguably the most important political philosopher of the 20th century… His first book, A Theory of Justice, revitalized the social-contract tradition, using it to articulate and defend a detailed vision of egalitarian liberalism" (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Here Rawls gives "new specificity and vigor to one of the most valuable legacies of the liberal political tradition: the idea that a person has a dignity and worth that social structures should not be permitted to violate. Thirty years after publication of A Theory of Justice, with all the discussion of rights and pluralism that has ensued, it is easy to forget that a whole generation of our political and moral philosophers had virtually stopped talking about that idea, and about how it can guide a religiously and ethnically diverse society like our own" (Chronicle of Higher Education). This work has been called "the most substantial and interesting contribution to moral philosophy since the war" (New York Review of Books), and Rawls himself "will be in the canon for centuries, along with Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Mill" (Harvard Gazette). Rawls received the National Humanities Medal in 1999 for his body of work.
Book fine; faint edge-wear, rubbing, mild toning to spine of bright near-fine dust jacket.