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KNOXVILLE — The Knoxville community is invited to read John Rawls’ book, “Justice as Fairness,” and then participate in a series of group discussions beginning Jan. 25.

The book events are being sponsored by the University of Tennessee Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and the Knox County Public Library.

“Sen. Baker, in talking about the American democratic republic as an ‘experiment,’ says it is our job as Americans to continually evaluate our system in order to create one that works,” said Carl Pierce, interim director of the Baker Center.

John Rawls devoted his intellectual life to answering these important questions of political philosophy. His work gives Americans a shared framework for public deliberation and reasoned judgment about the most pressing political issues that we face: guarding our basic constitutional liberties, creating and maintaining equal opportunity, and the interplay between economics and social cooperation for the common good. Without this shared framework, American citizens may find political life dominated by dogmatic fanaticism and apathetic resignation.

Citizens committed to the success of our system owe it to themselves to engage in the questions that occupied Rawls — perhaps the most important political philosopher of the 20th century.

Group discussions of Rawls’ book will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Mondays in the Toyota Auditorium at the Baker Center, 1640 Cumberland Ave., on the UT Campus. Each meeting will be facilitated by a UT faculty member with expertise on Rawls’ work:

  • Jan. 25, Part 1: Fundamental Ideas, led by Joe Cook, College of Law
  • Feb. 1, Part 2: Principles of Justice, led by Otis Stephens, College of Law
  • Feb. 8, Part 3: The Argument from the Original Position, led by Iris Goodwin, College of Law
  • Feb. 15, Part 4: Institutions of a Just Basic Structure, led by Matt Deaton, Department of Philosophy
  • Feb. 22, Part 5: The Question of Stability, led by David Reidy, Department of Philosophy

No previous knowledge of Rawls’ work is expected. Light refreshments will be served at the group discussion events.

A two-day symposium, Rawlsian Liberalism in Context(s), will be held at the Baker Center on Feb. 26 and 27.

For more information, visit http://bakercenter.utk.edu, or contact Amy Gibson.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, amy.blakely@tennessee.edu)