John Rawls (1921-2002) on Philosophy
HRP: What would you say to a student in 1991 who is interested in philosophy? Would you say to make it a career?
JR: I rarely, if ever, encourage people to go into philosophy. I impress upon them the drawbacks. If you very strongly want to do it, that’s one thing. Otherwise, you probably shouldn’t go into philosophy, because it does have its hardships and trials, and most who would be good at it would be much better off—at least by society’s standards—in doing something else. The real rewards of philosophy are personal and private and you should understand that. I think philosophy is a very special subject, particularly in our society, which pays very little attention to most serious philosophy, even when it is very well done. However, this is not a complaint, and it may be a good thing.
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