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A man has to grow into who he is... (15.42)

Jock Jeffcoat: Don't condescend to me, Chuck. We went to the same kind of college, same damn law school, clerked in the same offices, read the same books on ethical justice by guys like Rawls and Dworkin. "The suppression of liberty is likely to always be irrational." I even bought in to that crap for a while. But a man has to grow into who he is, and who the fuck I am is a man that's not gonna allow a prisoner to shank a guard. And neither are you.

John Bordley Rawls (February 21, 1921 – November 24, 2002) was an American moral and political philosopher in the liberal tradition. Rawls received both the Schock Prize for Logic and Philosophy and the National Humanities Medal in 1999, the latter presented by President Bill Clinton, in recognition of how Rawls's work "helped a whole generation of learned Americans revive their faith in democracy itself."

In his 1990 introduction to the field, Will Kymlicka wrote that "it is generally accepted that the recent rebirth of normative political philosophy began with the publication of John Rawls's A Theory of Justice in 1971.” Rawls has often been described as the most important political philosopher of the 20th century. He has the unusual distinction among contemporary political philosophers of being frequently cited by the courts of law in the United States and Canada and referred to by practising politicians in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Rawls's theory of "justice as fairness" recommends equal basic rights, equality of opportunity, and promoting the interests of the least advantaged members of society. Rawls's argument for these principles of social justice uses a thought experiment called the "original position", in which people select what kind of society they would choose to live under if they did not know which social position they would personally occupy. In his later work Political Liberalism (1993), Rawls turned to the question of how political power could be made legitimate given reasonable disagreement about the nature of the good life.

Gerald Dworkin (born 1937) is a professor of moral, political and legal philosophy. He is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of California, Davis. In 2016–17 he is the Brady Distinguished Visiting Professor of Ethics and Civic Life at Northwestern University. He has written for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Dworkin's main areas of research include the nature and justification of autonomy, paternalism in the criminal law, and the issue of which acts may legitimately be criminalized by the state. Most recently he has been working on the ethics of lying and deception. An article in the New York Times "Are these 10 Lies Justified?" which listed lies he thought permissible and asked for readers to respond if they disagreed received more than 10,000 responses.