In a famous passage in A Theory of Justice, Rawls had an interesting view on fraternity. However, he did not develop it further. The first aim of this article is to show that there are at least two possible interpretations of what Rawls wrote about fraternity: the narrow interpretation and the wide interpretation. We will focus on the narrow interpretation and attract attention to the kinds of problems it presents. In the last section we will assert that there are different ways of conceptualising the ideal of fraternity and that Rawls’s general approach to the issue was just one of them and maybe not the most attractive one.
Joan Vergés Gifra is Professor of Political Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy at Girona University in Spain. He has previously been a Consultant Professor at the UOC (Open University of Catalonia, Humanities), Adjunct Professor at the UAB (Autonomous University of Barcelona, Humanities) and Visiting Professor at the UPF (Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Political Sciences).