The discussion is on Rawls. The foundation of Ralph’s critique is
[Rawls] affirms the absolute priority of the Right to the Good: it must be possible to frame an ethical theory for the public/political realm in complete abstraction from any conception of a good human life. This is Rawls’ central assertion, and one that must be fundamentally contested.
As I understand it, Ralph is arguing from a Straussian perspective. I’m wondering what non-Straussians think of this critique. On the question of what is more imporant, the right or the good, I’d have to say I have no clue. But it makes sense that neither can have an absolute priority and that, as Ralph argues, the public and private spheres cannot be neatly divided.
His post comes in response to a new survey of political theorists just published in PS, identifying Rawls as the most important (by a significant margin) scholar of recent decades.
See also the comments and follow-up posts, including this partial defense of Rawls.