Biography of John Rawls

Biography of John Rawls


John Rawls is an American academician, philosopher and writer.

Childhood and early years

John Rawls was born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, to the family of lawyer William Lee Rawls and his wife Anne Abel Stamp Rawls. Even in his early childhood, the boy experiences a tremendous emotional shock, when, one by one, two of his brothers die from deadly diseases.

For some time, John is studying at a Baltimore school, but is soon transferred to a school in Kent, Connecticut. In 1939, he entered Princeton University.

In 1943, shortly after receiving an academic degree in the humanities, Rolza was called to serve in the United States Army. In its ranks, it will be World War II, but will leave military service, becoming a witness of the bombing of Hiroshima.

After this, in 1946, he returned to Princeton University to defend his doctorate in ethics.

In 1950, Rawls published his thesis entitled “Studies in the field of ethical knowledge in the light of judgments about the moral values ​​of character.”

In the same 1950, Dr. John Rawls began his teaching at Princeton University, where he would work for the next two years.

Scientific activity

In 1951, in the scientific journal of the Cornell University “Philosophical Review” appears Rolza’s article “Essay on moral decisions.” In the same journal will be published his works “Justice as honesty” and “The sense of justice.”

In 1952, he was honored to become a Fulbright Scholar at Oxford University. Then Rawls returns to the United States of America, where, having started teaching at Cornell University as a senior teacher, soon becomes an associate professor.

By 1962, he was already a full-time professor at the university, and soon received an offer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But Rawls stops his choice at Harvard University.

In 1963, the annual publication of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy “Nomos VI: Justice” includes the chapter “Constitutional Freedoms and the Concept of Justice”, authored by Rawls. In 1967, in the collection “Philosophy, Politics and Society” by Peter Laslett and WJ Runcimen, his article “Distributive justice” appears. Next year will be written the article “Distributive justice, with some additions.”

In 1971, Rawls completed his work “Theory



of Justice”, which will be published by “Belknap Press” with the publishing house of Harvard University. It is she who is considered his main work on political philosophy and ethics.

In 1974, the scientific journal Quarterly Journal of Economics published his article “Reply to Alexander and Musgrave.” In the same year, the “American Economic Review” will “Several arguments in favor of the maximin criterion.”

In 1993, augmented version of his “Theory of Justice” – “Political Liberalism” will be published. The publisher of the book was the publishing center of Columbia University. In the same year, Roecc wrote an article “The Law of Peoples”, published in the journal Critical Inquiry.

In 2001, in response to criticism of “Theory of Justice”, Rawls publishes the work “Justice as honesty: a repeated statement.” The book is a brief summary of the results of all his philosophical ideas, edited by Erin Kelly.

Basic work

“The theory of justice,” the main work of the whole life of Rawls and one of his most fruitful works, immediately after publication was called “the most significant work in the field of ethics since the end of the Second World War.”

Awards and achievements

In 1999, for his work “Logic and Philosophy”, Rawls receives the international award of Rolf Schock.

In the same year 1999 he was awarded the National Human Medal of the USA.

Personal life and heritage

In 1928, when John was barely seven years old, he suffered diphtheria. The following year he contracted pneumonia.

In 1949, Rawls married the graduate of Brown University Margaret Fox.

This famous American philosopher did not like to give interviews and felt very uncomfortable on the stage.

He was an atheist.

In 1995, Rawls experienced several heart attacks at once, after which it was impossible for him to continue working.
John Rawls died at the age of 81 in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Interesting Facts

John Rawls was a leading American philosopher in the field of ethics and political philosophy, whose works would later be given the common name of “Rolsianism.”

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Biography of John Rawls