Research Assistant, Ethics and Public Policy Center
J Bradley Studemeyer is a Research Assistant at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
History of ideas
How fashion moves philosophy forward
J Bradley Studemeyer
I’m really interested to see what will happen with Rawls’s legacy over the next few years; he’s been fashionable for some time, but, in my opinion, seems to be on the wane. The rise of populism in the U.S. and Western Europe has the potential to turn him into one of the foundational thinkers (with supporters saying things like “Rawls’s ideas about justice as fairness can help to stem the slide out of democracy”), but might also be used to try and discredit him (“A pluralist society just can’t be held together by reason in the way Rawls thought it could be,” etc.). I think his long-term legacy will be affected heavily by how his ideas are restated and deployed by his remaining students in ...