Overlapping Consensus Thin and Thick: John Rawls and Simone Weil

Aviad Heifetz, Enrico Minelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


John Rawls and Simone Weil presented two distinct conceptions of political justice, aimed at articulating a common ethos in an inherently heterogeneous society. The terms of the former, chiefly concerned with the distribution of primary goods, underwrite much of today's Western democracies political liberalism. The terms of the latter, chiefly concerned with the way interaction is organised in social activities in view of the body and soul's balancing pairs of needs, are less well known. We explain the sense in which the overlapping consensus in Weil's notion of political justice is “thicker”, and may thus deserve more attention – alongside that of Rawls – for substantiating a democratic ethos within political liberalism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-384
Number of pages23
JournalPhilosophical Investigations
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016

Bibliographical note

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© 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd


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