Jakub Švec

Premeny chápania slobody vo filozofií Johna Rawlsa: od nedotknuteľnosti indivídua k filozofickému zdôvodneniu pozitívnej slobody

The Transformation of Understanding Freedom in John Rawls' Philosophy: from the Inviolability of the Individual to the Philosophical Rationale of Positive Freedom

Politické vedy, Volume 23, Number 3/2020, pages 69-84



Recommended form for quotation of the article / Odporúčaná forma citácie článku:
ŠVEC, J. 2020.Premeny chápania slobody vo filozofií Johna Rawlsa: od nedotknuteľnosti indivídua k filozofickému zdôvodneniu pozitívnej slobody. In Politické Vedy. [online]. Vol. 23, No. 3, 2020. ISSN 1335 – 2741, pp. 69-84. Available at:


The ideology of liberalism is still relevant in the current political and philosophical discourse. However, through careful analysis, we find that liberalism, in the light of various influences, loses the status of a value ideology that is an equal partner to conservatism and socialism. Liberalism has become a prominent school of thought in family ideology, increasingly referring to economic and individualistic rationality. In our research, therefore, we seek to interpret one of the most important representatives of 20th century liberalism - John Rawls. Based on the analysis and our own interpretation, we try to prove that Rawls' work "A Theory of Justice" fundamentally changed the view of the individualistic form of liberalism and at the same time refutes the usual stereotypes about the mentioned ideology. In our study, we have tried to prove that Rawls' philosophy contains deeply social ideas and thus deviates from the tendentious and canonized notions of the non-social and individualistic conception of liberalism. The basic starting point for this statement is for us Rawls' recognition of the phenomenon of the "Natural Lottery" and its negative effects on the fate of individuals. We also present the authors' attitude to private property, which they do not consider inviolable and unlimited. In conclusion, we explain that the dominance of personal freedom over the public interest is approved by the author, but only in the case of a society that does not suffer from social difficulties. Otherwise, progressive taxation is possible based on Rawls theory. It is this argument that still serves the basic argument for the left-wing spectrum in defending this policy. The present study also aims to show, that this turnover did not occur only in the philosophy of the author, but also in the works of philosophers such as J. S. Mill and J. Dewey, who formed the social branch of liberalism before J. Rawls. Despite the existence of earlier socially oriented works, we consider J. Rawls' arguments to have been accepted in the second half of the 20th century as a philosophical justification for the essence of building a welfare state. The works of J. Rawls still represent a set of arguments that cannot be neglected when considering social justice.

Key words:           Liberalism, Individualism, Freedom, Capitalism, Socialism, Justice

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