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Black Rights/White WrongsThe Critique of Racial Liberalism$
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Charles W. Mills

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190245412

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190245412.001.0001

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Rawls on Race/Race in Rawls

Rawls on Race/Race in Rawls

(p.139) Chapter 8 Rawls on Race/Race in Rawls
Black Rights/White Wrongs

Charles W. Mills

Oxford University Press

John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice is widely credited with having revived post–World War II Anglo-American political philosophy, and, with his other four books, to be the most important body of work in the field. Yet in Rawls’s writings and the vast secondary literature it has generated, there is next to no discussion of racial injustice, the distinctive injustice of the modern world. This chapter both documents what little Rawls does say about race (“Rawls on Race”), and then tries, from a critical philosophy of race perspective, to bring out the larger significance of these silences (“Race in Rawls”). It argues that they are not contingent but are structurally related to the architecture of “racial liberalism.”

Keywords:   John Rawls, racial justice, Eurocentrism, whiteness of political philosophy, ideal theory, corrective justice

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