Rawl's philosophy of freedom: the methodological foundations, measures and perspectives
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John Rawls, freedom, justice, theory of justice, limits of justice, political philosophy, just freedom

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Sytnichenko, L. (2021). Rawl’s philosophy of freedom: the methodological foundations, measures and perspectives. Multiversum. Philosophical Almanac, 1(1), 44-56. https://doi.org/10.35423/2078-8142.2021.1.1.04


The author analyzes the theory of freedom in the political philosophy of J. Rawls, implemented in his works “A Theory of Justice” and “Justice as Fairness”, emphasizes the main types of relationship between freedom and justice proposed by Rawls in the context of the theory of justice based on the principles of freedom, minimum and reflective balance. A consistent, relevant for today reconstruction of J. Rawls's philosophy of freedom is based on his opinion that the study of the best way to realize the values of freedom and equality in the “basic structure of society” appears as the main subject of modern political philosophy. Rawls's “definition of the priority of freedom” refers to free, equal and honest individuals who voluntarily assume certain obligations and choose the basic principles of justice, which primarily concern freedom. The article demonstrates that the modern political philosophy (represented by A. Нonneth, O. Hoffe, M. Nussbaum) search for overcoming the traditional dilemma of “negative” and “positive” freedom and develop its meaningful, realistic concept. It goes about expanding the “right to freedom”, about creating an effective “just freedom” (W. Kersting, M. Nussbaum, F. Pettit), based on the understanding of freedom as the formation of a variety of opportunities for human development and its dignified existence. Exact Rawls's attempt to go beyond the predominantly individualistic-procedural interpretation of freedom may serve to supplement his principle of equal freedom with a meaningful idea of the socio-economic and moral-ethical principles of freedom. Attentive attitude to the ponder of J. Rawls allows us to conclude that his rights and freedoms are the result of mutual recognition. The only question of the conditions for the possibility of a fair restriction of freedom, as well as a fair way out of the eternal dilemma of happiness and freedom, requires the answer. After all, the limits of freedom, as well as its price are marked by its social nature, which is embodied in the need for expanded interpretation of institutions, constant harmonization of regulatory and institutional, legal dimensions of freedom with the real desire of people for freedom and justice.

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