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David Reidy
University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Knoxville, TN 37916-3801)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2009 – 5/31/2010

John Rawls: An Intellectual Biography

My project is an intellectual biography of John Rawls. At present there is no intellectual biography of Rawls; indeed, no one is even yet at work on one. John Rawls produced the most important body of political philosophy in defense of constitutional liberal democracy since John Stuart Mill. Yet his work remains often poorly or incompletely understood, within both the academy and the general educated public. Intellectual biographies provide a valuable resource for those who seek to understand fully and completely the meaning of a body of philosophical work. In Rawls's case, the promise of an intellectual biography is especially great. Archival sources indicate that there is a depth, unity and range to Rawls's work beyond that already apparent from his texts. Indeed, they suggest that Rawls's confronted in his life's work not only the political problems of modern constitutional democracies, but the problems of modernity itself. His work means more than his texts alone reveal.