(1921-) US philosopher. In A Theory of Justice 1971, he revived the concept of the social contract and its enforcement by civil disobedience.
He argued that if we did not know which position we were to occupy in society, we would choose to live in a society in which there was equal liberty and the minimum of social and economic inequalities. His ideas have influenced left-of-center parties throughout the world.
Rawls was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He taught at Princeton, Cornell, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard.