A Question About Literature and Political Philosophy

30 Sep

And since people are thinking about literature I’ll take this opportunity to ask a question I’ve been considering recently: Why doesn’t more literary criticism make mention of rights-based liberalism?  Not that I expect a lot of lit professors to approvingly cite Rawls, but he doesn’t even get name checked.  This might seem like a silly question considering that Rawls didn’t have a lot to say about literature (as far as I know), but I’ve never heard him referenced.  Not even as figure to disagree with.  Then again, I never hear Nozick or Judith Sklar either. Marx, Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt, yes–but nothing about Rawls.  

There’s a lot of vague comminitarian talk that gets thrown around and plenty of discussion about the difficulty of language, but seemingly nothing about rights-based liberalism.  What gives? (I leave this an open question for people who probably have more experience considering the two fields).


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