Inspired by Josh, I’ve decided to undertake my own summer reading project: Rawls’s Collected Papers. The plan is to read Rawls’s essays in chronological order, beginning with “Outline of a Decision Procedure in Ethics” (1951) and ending with “The Idea of Public Reason Revisited” (1997). Why Rawls? I don’t know Rawls as well as I should–i.e., as well as one who purports to work in moral philosophy should. Why Rawls’s essays, rather than either or both of his two major works? Because the short(ish) essays are more palatable.
The plan is to read one essay most every day, and post a succinct summary of the essay on this blog. The summaries are for my benefit rather than the benefit of those who happen to read them: they force me to read carefully, identify main points, etc. They also publicize my progress, or lack thereof, which should provide a good incentive to see the project through. Sometimes I’ll raise questions if any occur to me, but really my goal is understanding and not criticism.