This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Life And Mindd Of John Bordley Rawls

1832 words - 8 pages

John Rawls – The Life and Mind

Scott McDowell
CLU 4UA

Timmins High and Vocational School

Mr. Aston Monday, March 3rd, 2014

JOHN RAWLS – THE LIFE AND MIND
Scott McDowell

C
ontemporary philosopher John Bordley Rawls provided the liberal world with an ethical theory that placed the concept of justice at its center of concentration. John Rawls was arguably one of the most influential political philosophers of the Twentieth Century following the Second World War. Rawls published his first book, “A Theory of Justice”, in 1971, which was widely considered his best work and the most important work of political philosophy. Rawlsianism, Rawls’ philosophical basis, aimed at challenging utilitarian principles and it therefore received both strong support and strong opposition.2

Biographical Sketch

John Rawls was born into a comfortable family in Baltimore, Maryland where he attended school until graduation.1 Rawls studied at Princeton University and was soon drafted into the United States Army as an infantryman.2 After turning down a position as an officer, Rawls returned to Princeton where he received a doctorate of philosophy in 1949.2 After teaching and studying at Princeton University, Cornell, and MIT, he decided to take a position teaching philosophy at Harvard where he taught until 1990.1 Despite his intellectual fame, Rawls lived a withdrawn life as a family man and academic instead of a public intellectual.2 John Rawls brought the study of political theory back to the headlines of academic institutions around the world.

I. The Basic Structure of Society

The primary social goods proposed by Rawls are (1) rights and liberties, (2) opportunities and powers, and (3) income and wealth, that any reasonable person would want more of rather than less. Rawls believes that we have a right to these goods and it is the collective responsibility of the community to provide these goods to all members of society.3 The capabilities approach deals with the distribution of these goods on an individual level and emphasizes the ability to be whom you want as a measure of well-being.3 Rawls used this approach to promote racial and gender equality. A suggestion was made that we, the world population, should put our efforts into seeing that the ‘rules of the game’ are fair for all.1

II. “A Theory of Justice” & The Original Position

Rawls’ first book “A Theory of Justice” is based on a thought experiment that aims to develop different justice principles. The process begins with an imaginary meeting where reasonable and rational people are brought together to identify principles of society that can be agreed upon by all. These people know they are choosing principles for society, but do not know their place in this hypothetical society. They know nothing about their natural talents, abilities, social class, race, religion, or life plans, but do have basic knowledge of the real world surrounding...

Find Another Essay On The Life and Mindd of John Bordley Rawls

John Rawls' A Theory of Justice

705 words - 3 pages John Rawls' A Theory of Justice John Rawls' "A Theory of Justice" has long been revered as a marvel of modern political philosophy. It's most well-known for the two principles of justice outlined by Rawls: (1) that all persons have an equal right to liberty; and (2) that (a) all inequalities in society should be arranged to benefit the least advantages, and (b) that all positions and offices should be open and accessible as outlined by fair

The Life and Times of John Updike

1496 words - 6 pages Literary Research- The Life and Times John Updike’s life is reflected in his works through family, experiences and religious events. John Updike was born on March 18, 1932 in Reading, Pennsylvania. He was an only child of Wesely and Grace Updike. He was raised in nearby small town of Shillington. His father was a high school science teacher and his mother was an aspiring writer. In her fifties, some of Mrs. Updike’s short stories were

The Life and Writings of John Updike

1406 words - 6 pages for his careful craftsmanship, and his unique prose style. He wrote on average a book a year. Despite in his books about characters, themes, and attitudes, John Updike based his writings on his life experiences because he wanted to put a personal feeling in his books. John Updike was born on March 18, 1932 in Reading, Pennsylvania. He was raised in a small town of Shillington. He grew up being the only child. He lived with his father Wesley

The life and contributions of John Brown

1581 words - 6 pages . In his message to the Virginia legislature he said Brown showed "quick and clear perception," "rational premises and consecutive reasoning," "composure and self-possession."The life and death of John Brown has tremendously influenced the history of the United States. He fought for what he believed to be true. "I am here to plead his cause to you. I plead not for his life, but for his character-his immortal life, and so it becomes your cause wholly

The Life and Times of John Milton

1424 words - 6 pages John Milton lived from 1608 to 1674 and was therefore a major part of the Neoclassical Period. Paradise Lost by John Milton was and still is an extremely controversial piece of literature. I have found that the more controversial and disputed a subject is, the more interesting it is to read about. Christianity is a notoriously touchy subject, so naturally I was pulled towards Paradise Lost. When I began my research on this “lost

The life and works of John Bowlby

710 words - 3 pages The life and works of John Bowlby1907 - 19907John Bowlby was born in 1907. After his graduation he pursued his new found interest through volunteering at two progressive schools, the second a small analytically- oriented residential institution that served about 24 maladjusted children, aged 4 - 18 years. Two children there had an enormous impact on him. One was a very isolated, remote and affectionless teenager with no experience of a stable

A Theory of Justice Presented by John Rawls

1820 words - 7 pages In A Theory of Justice John Rawls presents his argument for justice and inequality. Rawls theorizes that in the original position, a hypothetical state where people reason without bias, they would agree to live in a society based on two principles of justice (Rawls 1971, 4). These two principles of justice are named the first and second principles. The first is the equal rights and liberties principle. The second is a combination of the

Discuss and analyze Rawls 'veil of ignorance'

1542 words - 6 pages knowledge of themselves regarding any self characteristic such as gender, race etc. or a conception of what good is. As Mullah and3Swift put it, 'in denying people in the original position knowledge of their beliefsabout what makes a life worthy or valuable and attributing to them rather a 'highest order interest' of this kind, Rawls is modelling the substantive moral claim that, when thinking about justice, which matters is people's freedom to

The Life and Work of John Calvin and Galileo Galilei

1167 words - 5 pages John Calvin was born July 10th, 1509, in Noyon, Picardy. He was raised up in a staunch Roman Catholic family. Early in his life, Calvin’s father was employed by the local bishop as an administrator at the town’s cathedral. With this newly acquired job, John Calvin’s father wanted Calvin to be a priest. Due to the fact that his family had close ties with the bishop and his noble family, Calvin’s classmates in Noyon were aristocratic and

Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls

2195 words - 9 pages OUTLINE Topic: Jay Berry Purpose: To identify the nature of the force of the conflict which Jay Berry encounters, and indicate how they help or hinder Jay Berry the protagonist in Wilson Rawls novel Summer of the Monkeys Thesis: Before Jay Berry succeeds his goal he encounters many conflicts that both hinder and help him through his amazing adventure. I. Inner Forces

The Life of John Constable

731 words - 3 pages Acadamy, Constable would spend the rest of his days painting landscapes and teaching and lecturing on art. On March 31, 1837, at the age of 60, Constable would die from heart failure. In the decades following his death, John Constable’s reputation would grow in the art world. He left a potentially prosperous life in business to pursue his passion of being a painter. He had a happy marriage that ended tragically with his wife’s death. He made enemies that would hamper his career for decades. Although unappreciated during his lifetime, Constable is considered today as one of the greatest landscape painters the world has ever seen.

Similar Essays

Human Rights And John Rawls The Law Of Peoples

3834 words - 15 pages Human Rights and John Rawls The Law of Peoples Abstract: Which political and juridical foundation can justify the transit from the Western, particular, to the universal? John Rawls tries to answer this question in his article, "The Law of Peoples," proposing a kind of contract or agreement. A first agreement should be attained among liberal-democratic societies on a few political and social issues such as human rights. Then this agreement

John Rawls And His Theories Essay

2082 words - 9 pages The social contract theory of John Rawls challenges utilitarianism by pointing out the impracticality of the theory. Mainly, in a society of utilitarians, a citizens rights could be completely ignored if injustice to this one citizen would benefit the rest of society. Rawls believes that a social contract theory, similar those proposed by Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, would be a more logical solution to the question of fairness in any government

Analysing John Rawls' Theory Of Justice And Its Principles, And The Conflicts Which May Arise From Its Implementation

1651 words - 7 pages Justice as FairnessThe late John Rawls, in 'Justice as Fairness', acknowledges that society exists for the "mutual benefit of all its members" (Nuttall 2002:223). They should be better off living in a society than not. However, he also indicates that there is a conflict of interest between members within the society, as each tries to accumulate a larger share of wealth and goods available.Rawls' theory of justice is seen as the solution to the

Reflection And Objection On John Rawls

549 words - 2 pages injustices. There would be mutual respect amongst all of them, and they would all do their fair share to better the society.Everything that Rawls says sounds pretty good on paper. It is a hypothetical, idealistic view of life and human nature. However, his ideas cannot be taken into practice, which makes his whole philosophy sort of useless. Everything he bases the idea of a perfect society on is based on two impossible ideas: the veil of