The Public Interest

Honorable Intentions

Susan M. Shell

Summer 1979

ACADEMIC philosophy has been undergoing a kind of moral revival.  The positivism and value-relativism that long prevailed among academic philosophers are giving way to a new interest in moral absolutes and “objective values,” as well as a new concern with concrete issues of public life. The popularity, both in and out of academe, of John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice is one signal of this change. Last year, legal theorist Ronald Dworkin brought Rawlsian arguments to bear, with considerable publicity, on the Bakke case.  Now another legal theorist, Charles Fried, has published a book that attempts to shed the light of this new moral awareness on the general subject of right and wrong.

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