JOHN RAWLS: Freedom, equality and justice
John Bordley Rawls(1921-2002) was an American philosopher and a leading figure in moral and political philosophy. He held the James Bryant Conant Professorship at Harvard University, and the Fulbright Fellowship at Christ Church, Oxford. I did not come across Rawls and his writings until I taught philosophy in the 1990s at what is now a polytechnic in Perth Western Australia.
In 1962, Rawls became a full professor of philosophy at Cornell, and soon achieved a tenured position at MIT. That same year, he moved to Harvard University, where he taught for almost forty years, and where he trained some of the leading contemporary figures in moral and political philosophy, including Thomas Nagel, among others.1
During those 40 years, from 1962 to 2002, I completed five years of post-secondary studies and training, as well as a 32 year teaching career; I married twice, raised three children, travelled-pioneered to many towns and cities for the Canadian and Australian Baha’i communities. I also retired during the last of those 40 years, and gradually reinvented myself as a writer and author, poet and publisher Rawls died at the age of 81 just as a retired from all my PT work.
Rawls seldom gave interviews and, having both a stutter and a "bat-like horror of the limelight", he did not become a public intellectual despite his fame. He instead remained committed mainly to his academic and family life. On his religious views, Rawls was an atheist. I have given over two dozen interviews, spent decades in the limelight in varying degrees. I am a theist, a Baha’i. Since my retirement, life on an old-age pension, and new meds for my bipolar 1 disorder in and after 2009, I have become more solitary, more reclusive, and more involved in literary-intellectual activities, the life of the mind.-Ron Price with thanks to 1Wikipedia, 23/9/’13.
As I was heading into retirement
in the 1990s, you had a series of
strokes and, by 2002….You were
gone. Your intellectual years had
an immense fertility, an erudition,
and a prolificacy far above all my
mediocre earthly achievements in
education and teaching. Capacities
of some lie in a thimble…...And of
others it is a gallon measure.1….To
each their own as we travel the road,
and slowly discover those talents and
faculties with which we are endowed
at the different stages in the lifespan
from toddlerhood to late adulthood,
from 60 to 80, and into to old-age, the
years after 80, if we last that long. May
I, too, last as long as you did Dr Rawls.
1 Rawls's tried to demonstrate that the authentically valuable features of the common notions of freedom and equality could be integrated into a seamless unity which he called justice. By elucidating the proper perspective we should take when thinking about justice, Rawls hoped to demonstrate the apparent conflict between these two values, freedom and equality, to be illusory.
Rawls' showed an objective reliance on liberty and equality when faced with the Pareto Optimum. His thought experiment put into words and perspective that which liberal political philosophy has been trying to do for over a millennium. Granted Rawls' is specifically liberal and western, but i think the fact that most people prove his point in exercising his thought experiment prove that most people are liberal if they are rational.
No, Who is not the most important political philosopher of the last 100 years. He is not even a philosopher. He is a fictional baseball player from an Abbott & Costello routine, with no real characteristics aside from being the first baseman. He did nothing even remotely philosophy-related, so no, he is not.
John Locke is one of the most important, if not the most important, Political influences of/to modern Western politics (American politics in particular) and supersedes the 100 year threshold put forward in the question.
The question is none sense as a Yes or No question.
It should be worded to ask if a particular political philosopher (insert any) is the most influential; or something to that effect. Otherwise delete the Yes or No option..