Rawls, Citizenship, and Education
Routledge – 2010 – 168 pages
This book develops and applies a unified interpretation of John Rawls’ theory of justice as fairness in order to clarify the account of citizenship that Rawls relies upon, and the kind of educational policies that the state can legitimately pursue to promote social justice. Costa examines the role of the family as the "first school of justice" and its basic contribution to the moral and political development of children. It also argues that schools are necessary to supplement the education that families provide, teaching the political virtues that support just social institutions. The book also examines the questions of whether civic education should aim at cultivating patriotic feelings, and how it should respond to the deep cultural pluralism of contemporary democratic societies.
"While contemporary philosophical work on the importance of education has often resorted to Rawls’s theory to argue for one type or another of educational policy, most of it has done so by reading Rawls in a rather selective and piecemeal manner. Costa’s aim, in contrast, is to develop an integrated and systematic exploration of the implications that the theory of ‘justice as fairness’ has for education for citizenship. … Costa’s book is a valuable addition to both Rawlsian and civic education scholarship."
– Mihaela Georgieva, Maastricht University, Journal of Applied Philosophy
Acknowledgments 1: Introduction 2: What is a Just Society? 3: Stability and Social Change 4: The Family 5: Reasonable Citizens 6: Free and Equal Citizens 7: Patriotism 8: Cultural Diversity 9: Concluding Remarks Notes Bibliography Index
Victoria Costa is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Illinois State University.