John Rawls quotes

  • The bad man desires arbitrary power. What moves the evil man is the love of injustice.
    -- John Rawls

    #Moving #Men #Evil

  • 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

    #Religious #Party #Believe

  • 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

    #Unjust #Way #Facts

  • An intolerant sect has no right to complain when it is denied an equal liberty. ... A person's right to complain is limited to principles he acknowledges himself.
    -- John Rawls

    #Tolerance #Liberty #Principles

  • The sense of justice is continuous with the love of mankind.
    -- John Rawls

    #Justice #Philanthropy #Mankind

  • 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

    #Share #Advantage #Institutions

  • 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

    #Willing

  • 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

    #Training #Cost #Way

  • The perspective of eternity is not a perspective from a certain place beyond the world, nor the point of view of a transcendent being; rather it is a certain form of thought and feeling that rational persons can adopt within the world ... Purity of heart, if one could attain it, would be to see clearly and to act with grace and self-command from this point of view.
    -- John Rawls

    #Heart #Self #Views

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

    #Justice #Assuming #Advantage

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

    #Judgement #Serious #Conflict

  • Ideal legislators do not vote their interests.
    -- John Rawls

    #Vote #Interest

  • 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

    #Class #Expectations #Achievement

  • There are two kinds of comprehensive doctrines, religious and secular. Those of religious faith will say I give a veiled argument for secularism, and the latter will say I give a veiled argument for religion. I deny both. Each side presumes the basic ideas of constitutional democracy, so my suggestion is that we can make our political arguments in terms of public reason. Then we stand on common ground. That's how we can understand each other and cooperate.
    -- John Rawls

    #Religious #Ideas #Two

  • Political philosophy is realistically utopian when it extends what are ordinarily thought to be the limits of practicable political possibility and, in so doing, reconciles us to our political and social condition. Our hope for the future of our society rests on the belief that the social world allows a reasonably just Society of Peoples.
    -- John Rawls

    #Philosophy #Political #World

  • Justice is happiness according to virtue.
    -- John Rawls

    #Justice #Virtue

  • The concept of justice I take to be defined, then, by the role of its principles in assigning rights and duties and in defining the appropriate division of social advantages. A conception of justice is an interpretation of this role.
    -- John Rawls

    #Rights #Justice #Principles

  • An intuitionist conception of justice is, one might say, but half a conception.
    -- John Rawls

    #Justice #Half #Might

  • At best the principles that economists have supposed the choices of rational individuals to satisfy can be presented as guidelines for us to consider when we make our decisions.
    -- John Rawls

    #Choices #Decision #Principles

  • An injustice is tolerable only when it is necessary to avoid an even greater injustice.
    -- John Rawls

    #Religion #Morality #Injustice

  • The strength of the claims of formal justice, of obedience to system, clearly depend upon the substantive justice of institutions and the possibilities of their reform.
    -- John Rawls

    #Justice #Reform #Obedience

  • 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

    #Law #Justice #Unjust

  • It is of first importance that the military be subordinate to civilian government
    -- John Rawls

    #Military #Government #Firsts

  • The principles of justice are chosen behind a veil of ignorance.
    -- John Rawls

    #Ignorance #Justice #Principles

  • Certainly it is wrong to be cruel to animals and the destruction of a whole species can be a great evil. The capacity for feelings of pleasure and pain and for the form of life of which animals are capable clearly impose duties of compassion and humanity in their case.
    -- John Rawls

    #Pain #Animal #Compassion

  • 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

    #Thinking #Citizens #Reason

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

    #Political #Campaigns #Finance

  • Justice is the first virtue of social institutions,
    -- John Rawls

    #Justice #Firsts #Virtue

  • Man is a historical being : The realisations of the powers of human individuals living at any one time takes the cooperation of many generations (or even societies) over a long period of time. By contrast with humankind, every individual animal can and does do what for the most part it might do, or what any other of its kind might or can do that lives at the same time.
    -- John Rawls

    #Funny #Animal #Men

  • The only thing that permits us to acquiesce in an erroneous theory is the lack of a better one, analogously, an injustice is tolerable only when it is necessary to avoid an even greater injustice.
    -- John Rawls

    #Justice #Tolerance #Permit

  • Clearly when the liberties are left unrestricted they collide with one another.
    -- John Rawls

    #Liberty #Collide

  • A society regulated by a public sense of justice is inherently stable.
    -- John Rawls

    #Justice

  • A just system must generate its own support.
    -- John Rawls

    #Support

  • The extreme nature of dominant-end views is often concealed by the vagueness and ambiguity of the end proposed.
    -- John Rawls

    #Views #Vagueness #Ends

  • The hazards of the generalized prisoner's dilemma are removed by the match between the right and the good.
    -- John Rawls

    #Hazards #Dilemma #Prisoner

  • I have tried to set forth a theory that enables us to understand and to assess these feelings about the primacy of justice. Justice as fairness is the outcome: it articulates these opinions and supports their general tendency.
    -- John Rawls

    #Justice #Support #Feelings

  • A scheme is unjust when the higher expectations, one or more of them, are excessive. If these expectations were decreased, the situation of the less favored would be improved.
    -- John Rawls

    #Expectations #Would Be #Unjust

  • We must choose for others as we have reason to believe they would choose for themselves if they were at the age of reason and deciding rationally.
    -- John Rawls

    #Believe #Age #Reason

  • There is a divergence between private and social accounting that the market fails to register. One essential task of law and government is to institute the necessary conditions.
    -- John Rawls

    #Government #Law #Essentials

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

    #Agree

  • 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

    #Desire #Liberty #Equal

  • The fundamental criterion for judging any procedure is the justice of its likely results.
    -- John Rawls

    #Justice #Judging #Fundamentals

  • Ideally a just constitution would be a just procedure arranged to insure a just outcome.
    -- John Rawls

    #Would Be #Outcomes #Constitution

  • We may suppose that everyone has in himself the whole form of a moral conception.
    -- John Rawls

    #May #Moral #Form

  • Intuitionism is not constructive, perfectionism is unacceptable.
    -- John Rawls

    #Perfectionism #Constructive

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

    #Merit #Natural #Starting

  • If A were not allowed his better position, B would be even worse off than he is.
    -- John Rawls

    #Would Be #Position

  • There are infinitely many variations of the initial situation and therefore no doubt indefinitely many theorems of moral geometry.
    -- John Rawls

    #Doubt #Variation #Moral

  • The circumstances of justice may be described as the normal conditions under which human cooperation is both possible and necessary.
    -- John Rawls

    #Justice #May #Normal

  • First of all, principles should be general. That is, it must be possible to formulate them without use of what would be intuitively recognized as proper names, or rigged definite descriptions.
    -- John Rawls

    #Names #Principles #Would Be

  • The claims of existing social arrangements and of self interest have been duly allowed for. We cannot at the end count them a second time because we do not like the result.
    -- John Rawls

    #Self #Social #Ends

  • When the basic structure of society is publicly known to satisfy its principles for an extended period of time, those subject to these arrangements tend to develop a desire to act in accordance with these principles and to do their part in institutions which exemplify them
    -- John Rawls

    #Desire #Principles #Structure

  • Justice as fairness provides what we want.
    -- John Rawls

    #Justice #Want #Fairness

  • The fault of the utilitarian doctrine is that it mistakes impersonality for impartiality.
    -- John Rawls

    #Mistake #Doctrine #Faults

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

    #Liberty #Equal #Persons