Fifteen years after the appearance of the dispute between Habermas and Rawls in the Journal of Philosophy, their exchange has yet to receive adequate attention. This is all the more astounding given that the former was arguably the greatest social theorist of the twentieth century and the latter arguably its most important political philosopher. Considering how much thought has been devoted to-and how many words written on-the works of these two thinkers, it is surprising that the dispute between them has been relatively neglected. Why is this? A likely answer is that initial high expectations were followed by a sense of disappointment in the immediate aftermath of the dispute, which quickly congealed into the received opinion that neither thinker had properly understood the other. As one recent commentator puts it, the much anticipated dispute amounted in the end to “a somewhat embarrassing failure of two of the greatest contemporary minds to meet.”1