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A collection of quotes and sayings by John Rawls on education, principles, justice, virtue, social, systems, benefits, burden, truth, system, and equality.

26 Meaningful Quotes By John Rawls

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American Philosopher

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Baltimore

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John Rawls was a celebrated American political and moral philosopher in the liberal tradition. He is the author of ‘A Theory of Justice,’ which is till date regarded as one of the most important books in political publications. He bagged in the ‘National Humanities Medal’ and ‘Schock Prize for Logic and Philosophy.' ‘Justice as fairness’ is one of Rawls’s renowned theories that suggests equality of opportunity, promotes the interest of the underprivileged members of the society, and equal basic rights. During the World War II, he served in the United States Army in Japan, New Guinea, Pacific, and Philippines. Here is a treasury of notable, interesting and motivational quotes and sayings by John Rawls, which have been gathered from his writings, researches, thoughts, books, works and life. Go through the famous, noteworthy and popular quotes and thoughts by John Rawls on ideology, philosophy, politics, freedom, liberalism, truth, institution, community, humanism, philanthropy, liberty, civilian, control, military and optimism. 

Many of our most serious conflicts are conflicts within ourselves. Those who suppose their judgements are always consistent are unreflective or dogmatic.

- Justice as Fairness: A Restatement, John Rawls

A just society is a society that if you knew everything about it, you'd be willing to enter it in a random place.

- John Rawls

The fairest rules are those to which everyone would agree if they did not know how much power they would have.

- John Rawls

The natural distribution is neither just nor unjust; nor is it unjust that persons are born into society at some particular position. These are simply natural facts. What is just and unjust is the way that institutions deal with these facts.

- John Rawls

The bad man desires arbitrary power. What moves the evil man is the love of injustice.

- John Rawls

No one deserves his greater natural capacity nor merits a more favorable starting place in society.

- John Rawls

In all sectors of society there should be roughly equal prospects of culture and achievement for everyone similarly motivated and endowed. The expectations of those with the same abilities and aspirations should not be affected by their social class.

- John Rawls

An injustice is tolerable only when it is necessary to avoid an even greater injustice.

- John Rawls

Justice as fairness provides what we want.

- John Rawls

The naturally advantaged are not to gain merely because they are more gifted, but only to cover the costs of training and education and for using their endowments in ways that help the less fortunate as well.

- John Rawls

Ideally citizens are to think of themselves as if they were legislators and ask themselves what statutes, supported by what reasons satisfying the criterion of reciprocity, they would think is most reasonable to enact.

- John Rawls

Justice is happiness according to virtue.

- John Rawls

Liberal constitutional democracy is supposed to ensure that each citizen is free and equal and protected by basic rights and liberties.

- John Rawls

Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust.

- John Rawls

The principles of justice are chosen behind a veil of ignorance.

- John Rawls

The sense of justice is continuous with the love of mankind.

- John Rawls

Any comprehensive doctrine, religious or secular, can be introduced into any political argument at any time, but I argue that people who do this should also present what they believe are public reasons for their argument. So their opinion is no longer just that of one particular party, but an opinion that all members of a society might reasonably agree to, not necessarily that they would agree to. What's important is that people give the kinds of reasons that can be understood and appraised apart from their particular comprehensive doctrines.

- John Rawls

A society regulated by a public sense of justice is inherently stable.

- John Rawls

The intolerant can be viewed as free-riders, as persons who seek the advantages of just institutions while not doing their share to uphold them.

- John Rawls

Thus I assume that to each according to his threat advantage is not a conception of justice.

- A Theory of Justice, John Rawls

I'm concerned about the survival, historically, of constitutional democracy.

- John Rawls

Properly understood, then, the desire to act justly derives in part from the desire to express most fully what we are or can be, namely free and equal rational beings with the liberty to choose.

- John Rawls

In constant pursuit of money to finance campaigns, the political system is simply unable to function. Its deliberative powers are paralyzed.

- John Rawls

[E]ach person is to have an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others.

- A Theory of Justice, John Rawls

Clearly when the liberties are left unrestricted they collide with one another.

- John Rawls

It is of first importance that the military be subordinate to civilian government

- John Rawls