The Cardinal Role of Respect and Self-Respect for Rawls’s and Walzer’s Theories of Justice

In Elena Irrera & Giovanni Giorgini (eds.), The Roots of Respect: A Historic-Philosophical Itinerary. De Gruyter. pp. 207-224 (2017)
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The cardinal role that notions of respect and self-respect play in Rawls’s A Theory of Justice has already been abundantly examined in the literature. In contrast, it has hardly been noticed that these notions are also central to Michael Walzer’s Spheres of Justice. Respect and self-respect are not only central topics of his chapter “Recognition”, but constitute a central aim of a “complex egalitarian society” and of Walzer’s theory of justice. This paper substantiates this thesis and elucidates Walzer’s criticism of Rawls that we need to distinguish between “self-respect” and “self-esteem”.
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