John Rawls - Social Quotes
10 Sourced Quotes
We must not be enticed by mathematically attractive assumptions into pretending that the contingencies of men's social positions and the asymmetries of their situations somehow even out in the end. Rather we must choose our conception of justice fully recognizing that this is not and cannot be the case.
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.
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.
The first statement of the two principals reads as follows. First: each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others. Second: social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both (a) reasonably expected to be to everyone's advantage, and (b) attached to positions and offices open to all.