John Rawls citations

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John Rawls

Date de naissance: 21. février 1921
Date de décès: 24. novembre 2002

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John Rawls est un philosophe américain né le 21 février 1921 à Baltimore et mort le 24 novembre 2002 à Lexington. Rawls est l'un des philosophes politiques les plus étudiés du XXe siècle. Professeur dans les universités de Princeton, Oxford, Cornell et Harvard jusqu'en 1995, il a été rendu célèbre par son œuvre majeure, à laquelle il travaillait depuis les années 1960 et qui parut sous le titre A Theory of Justice en 1971.

Rawls élabore sa théorie durant une période marquée par la guerre du Viêt Nam et la lutte pour les droits civiques, où les États-Unis sont traversés par de profonds mouvements culturels et sociaux. Axée sur les notions d'éthique et de justice, son œuvre renoue avec une tradition contractualiste délaissée, et prolonge la réflexion libérale en cherchant à articuler rationnellement liberté individuelle et solidarité sociale. Sa pensée est largement commentée et critiquée dans le monde anglo-saxon.

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Citations John Rawls

„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.“

—  John Rawls
Context: 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. Chapter I, Section 2, pg. 10

„I have tried to set forth a theory that enables us to understand and to assess these feelings about the primacy of justice.“

—  John Rawls
Context: 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. Chapter IX, Section 87, p. 586

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„We cannot at the end count them a second time because we do not like the result.“

—  John Rawls
Context: 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. Chapter III, Section 23, pg. 135

„Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought.“

—  John Rawls
Context: 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. Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. For this reason justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others. It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many. Therefore in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are taken as settled; the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests. Chapter I, Section 1, pg. 3-4

„Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override.“

—  John Rawls
Context: 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. Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. For this reason justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others. It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many. Therefore in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are taken as settled; the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests. Chapter I, Section 1, pg. 3-4

„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, A Theory of Justice
Context: Occasionally this reflection is offered as an excuse for ignoring injustice, as if the refusal to acquiesce in injustice is on a par with being unable to accept death. 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. Context: We may reject the contention that the ordering of institutions is always defective because the distribution of natural talents and the contingencies of social circumstance are unjust, and this injustice must inevitably carry over to human arrangements. Occasionally this reflection is offered as an excuse for ignoring injustice, as if the refusal to acquiesce in injustice is on a par with being unable to accept death. 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. Aristocratic and caste societies are unjust because they make these contingencies the ascriptive basis for belonging to more or less enclosed and privileged social classes. The basic structure of these societies incorporates the arbitrariness found in nature. But there is no necessity for men to resign themselves to these contingencies. The social system is not an unchangeable order beyond human control but a pattern of human action. In justice as fairness men agree to avail themselves of the accidents of nature and social circumstance only when doing so is for the common benefit. The two principles are a fair way of meeting the arbitrariness of fortune; and while no doubt imperfect in other ways, the institutions which satisfy these principles are just. Chapter II, Section 14, pg. 87-88

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