A Theory of Justice: 50 Years Later 

John Rawls
December 3, 2021
9:30 am - 3:30 pm
WhereUVA School of Law
Sponsor(s)Karsh Center for Law and Democracy, Center for Law & Philosophy

This conference marks the 50th anniversary of John Rawls’ “A Theory of Justice,” which is widely considered the most influential work of political philosophy in the 20th century. Bringing together scholars in politics, philosophy and law, the program focuses on themes arising from Rawls’ work, including how justice is related to democracy, what distinguishes justice and legitimacy, how justice bears on questions of education and employment, and its implications for matters of race and religion.

The conference organizers are Blain Neufeld (Wisconsin, Milwaukee), Lori Watson (Washington University), and Micah Schwartzman (Virginia).

Event Details

A Theory of Justice: 50 Years Later 


Friday, Dec. 3, 2021

9:30-10 a.m.


10 a.m.-Noon

Panel 1: Justice and Democracy

  • Simone Chambers (University of California, Irvine), “John Rawls and Contemporary Democratic Theory”
  • Derrick Darby (Rutgers University), “The Fair Value of Voting Rights”
  • David Reidy (University of Tennessee), “Keeping the Faith: Progressive Democracy from Croly to Rawls”
  • Moderator: Micah Schwartzman ’05 (University of Virginia School of Law)

1:30-3:30 p.m.

Panel 2: Race, Religion, and Ideal Theory

  • Larry Krasnoff (College of Charleston), “Rawls, Race, and Reparative Justice”
  • Cécile Laborde (University of Oxford), “Rawls, Race and Religion”
  • Anthony Laden (University of Illinois Chicago), “Ideal Theory for a Non-Ideal World: How to Make Justice as Fairness Anti-Racist”
  • Moderator: Lori Watson (Washington University in St. Louis)

Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021

10-11:30 a.m.

Panel 3: Education, Labor, and Justice

  • Gina Schouten (Harvard University), “Sectoral Justice and the Case of Education”
  • Sabine Tsuruda (Queen’s University), “Labor, Association, and the Priority of Liberty”
  • Moderator: Christie Hartley (Georgia State University)

11:30 a.m.-Noon


Noon-1:30 p.m.

Keynote and Lunch

  • Charles Larmore (Brown University), “The Permanent Achievement of A Theory of Justice

1:30-3:30 p.m.

Panel 4: Justice and Legitimacy

  • Andrew Lister (Queen’s University), “Conditional vs. Unconditional Duties in Justice as Fairness”
  • Simon May (Florida State University), “The Lexical Priority of Political Legitimacy”
  • Cynthia Stark (University of Utah), “The Basic Structure, Structural Injustice, and the Limits of Fair Equality of Opportunity”
  • Moderator: Blain Neufeld (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)