The Anglo-American political philosophy in the 20th century
Revival of political philosophy in the 20th century
The revival of Anglo-American political philosophy began in the 1970s with the publication of A Theory of Justice by John Rawls and Wittgenstein and Justice by Hanna Pitkin. This revival was facilitated by the turbulent political processes occurring after the Second World War that required philosophical understanding, but the long-dominant utilitarian approach could not fully meet this task.
Traditionally, the main issue in political philosophy has been the question of power, spe- cifically its political organization and legitimacy. Rawls demonstrated that the political organiza- tion of power is derived from how we understand ethical norms and what norms (rules) we follow in social interaction. Thus, the main question of political philosophy is not power but justice. He also demonstrated that political freedom is closely linked to equality. Rawls’s theory had a deci- sive influence on the political philosophy of the twentieth century, the development of which was largely based on criticism or reception of his ideas.
Today, we are witnessing the beginning of a break with tradition, which was expressed by Rawls and suggested that the political is based on the possibility of consensus and ethical agree- ment. The current developments in political philosophy are closely connected with the rethink- ing of Rawls’s legacy, and we see this in the development of non-ideal political theories.
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