Posts Tagged ‘Types of Justice’

♠Plato: “The Republic”: “On the Concept of Justice”:

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In “The “Republic” (Greek: Πολιτεία, Politeia. Books I, II and IV), Plato treats justice as an overarching virtue of individuals (and of societies), meaning that almost every issue he would regard as ethical comes in under the notion of justice (dikaosoune).

After criticizing the conventional theories of justice presented differently by Cephalus, Polymarchus, Thrasymachus and Glaucon, Plato gives us his own theory of justice according to which, individually, justice is a ‘human virtue’ that makes a person self-consistent and good; socially, justice is a social consciousness that makes a society internally harmonious and good.

→”Justice is doing one´s own job”. (Book IV, 443 b).

Justice is thus a sort of specialization. It is simply the will to fulfill the duties of one’s station and not to meddle with the duties of another station, and its habitation is, therefore, in the mind of every citizen who does his duties in his appointed place. It is the original principle, laid down at the foundation of the State, “that one man should practice one thing only and that the thing to which his nature was best adopted”. True justice to Plato, therefore, consists in the principle of non-interference. The State has been considered by Plato as a perfect whole in which each individual which is its element, functions not for itself but for the health of the whole. Every element fulfils its appropriate function. Justice in the platonic state would, therefore, be like that harmony of relationship where the Planets are held together in the orderly movement. Plato was convinced that a society which is so organized is fit for survival.

→”Justice is Harmony”. (Book Iv, 434 b).

For Plato, justice is a virtue establishing rational order, with each part performing its appropriate role and not interfering with the proper functioning of other parts. 

Justice is, for Plato, at once a part of human virtue and the bond, which joins man together in society. It is the identical quality that makes good and social. Justice is an order and duty of the parts of the soul, it is to the soul as health is to the body. Plato says that justice is not mere strength, but it is a harmonious strength. Justice is not the right of the stronger but the effective harmony of the whole. All moral conceptions revolve about the good of the whole-individual as well as social.

Both Plato and Aristotle were rationalists as regards both human knowledge and moral reasons, and what they say about the virtue of justice clearly reflects the commitment to rationalism. Much subsequent thinking about justice (especially in the Middle Ages) was influenced by Plato and Aristotle and likewise emphasized the role of reason both in perceiving what is just and in allowing us to act justly.

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►Plato: The Republic”:

Click on the image above to read it.-

Click on the image above to read it.-

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►Poll: Vote Here: “Which Definition of Justice do you think is more accurate?”: 

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►Bonustrack: Greek Mythology: “Dike, the Goddess of Justice”:

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The Greek goddess Dike was the personification of justice. In Hesiod´s  “Theogony” (lines 901/904), Dike – or Justice – is identified as the daughter of Zeus and Themis:

“His second wife was radiant Themis; she bore the Seasons, Lawfulness and Justice and blooming Peace, who watch over the works of mortal men, and also the Fates, to whom wise Zeus allotted high honors.”

And although the goddess of justice was in many respects more important in literature than religion, she still played a significant role in the lives of the ancient Greeks. It is suggested in some sources that Dike was instrumental in punishing wrong doers and rewarding those who did good deeds.

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♠Links Post:

http://www.iep.utm.edu/republic/

http://www.ohadmaiman.com/displayessay.asp?PageNumber=21

http://www.mythography.com/myth/welcome-to-mythography/greek-gods/spirits-1/dike/

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♠Aristotle´s “Nicomachean Ethics” and “Politics”:

“On The Concept of Justice”:

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In Book V of “Nichomachean Ethics”, Aristotle attempted to apply his theory of the mean to define justice.

In this sense, he dissects justice into its smallest components, causing him to postulate three kinds, from two main types.

There are two distinct forms of justice: Universal and Particular.

1) Universal Justice is concerned with obeying laws and with virtue as a whole. (Type: c) Equitable Justice).

2) Particular Justice is seen as one of the virtues and is divided into two types (Types a) Distributive Justice and b) Corrective or Rectificatory Justice)

a) Distributive Justice, which involves distributing honors, money and other assets; and b) Corrective or Rectificatory Justice; which includes: voluntary transactions involving paying debts, buying and selling, and so on; and involuntary transactions involving the giving of just restitution of harms inflicted.  

The Distributive justice reflects our understanding of justice as the mean between two extremes of unfairness. Everyone agrees that justice involves the distribution of things in proportion to merit. The man who acts unjustly gets too much, the victim too little, of what is good. Therefore that which is unjust in the narrow sense defies the proper “geometrical” proportion. 

As for Corrective or Rectificatory Justice, this shows our belief that in any exchange the just is what is fair. Unlike distributive justice, it involves not “geometrical,” but “arithmetical” proportionality, because it doesn’t take into account the parties involved, just the transaction itself. Both parties are treated as equals before the law in the exchange of goods, regardless of their individual merits. The role of the judge, therefore, is to restore the mean between too much and too little: to remedy an inequitable division between two parties by means of some sort o f arithmetical progression. He tries to equalize the inequality of the injustice. 

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The Doctrine Of The Mean is related to justice as a mean between two extremes, (vices), deficiency, and excess, or gain and loss.  It is important to stress here that Aristotle intends to define justice as a determinable mean between excesses which he presumes are vices.  

Justice is the intermediate position between doing injustice and suffering it; one has more, the other less, than their share. It is that state of virtue in which the individual is capable of doing just acts from choice and of distributing property, not in a way which gives himself more than his neighbour, but to each in proportionately equal manner. Injustice is choosing excess or deficiency in defiance of proportion. 

c) Equitable Justice is that kind of Universal Justice that Aristotle postulated as being a form of justice superior to legal justice.  Realizing that the “generality” of the law sometimes gave rise to injustices, Aristotle postulated equity, which was to function, though the judge, as a “correction of the law where it is defective owing to its universality”While all laws are stated universally, in some cases such a universal statement is not correct. The law thus states most is mostly right, and in cases where the statement does not apply correctly it is just for the legislator or the judge to correct for the deficiency of the law, as long as what is done is in accordance with the intention of the lawmaker, even if it conflicts with the exact statement. 

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►Comparative Graphic: Distributive Justice and Rectificatory or Corrective Justice (Types of Particular Justice):

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Aristotle also developed the idea of Justice in the Book III (chapter 12) of “Politics”

There he helds that “The political good is justice, and this is the common advantage”. Justice is considered to be a certain sort of equality, but what remains to be determined is what sort of equality and equality in what things. Persons preeminent in some things may not be preeminent in others, and some things are more of claim to honor and merit than others. 

Aristotle says “The virtue of justice is a feature of a state; for justice is the arrangement of the political association, an a sense of justice decides what is just”.

For him, Justice means giving equal measures to equals and unequal measures to unequals. Aristotle realizes that people are bad judges concerning themselves and that as in oligarchy and democracy they tend to confuse a part of justice with the whole of justice. Justice must be central concern for every city, because the city exists “not only for the sake of living but primarily for the sake of living well.” As a result, “virtue must be a care for every city,” and a city can only foster virtue to the extent that it is just.

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►Video: “On Aristotle´s Idea of Justice and The Theory of Golden Mean”:

Click on the image above to watch the video at YouTube.-

Click on the image above to watch the video at YouTube.-

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►”Nicomachean Ethics” by Aristotle:

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Click on the image above to read the book.-

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►”Politics” by Aristotle:

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Click on the image above to read the book.-

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♠Links Post:
http://mysite.verizon.net/vzepglv8/file22b.html
 http://www.novelguide.com/aristotles-ethics/summaries/book5
  http://www.gradesaver.com/aristotles-ethics/study-guide/section5/
  http://www.pages.drexel.edu/~cp28/justice.htm 
http://www.gradesaver.com/aristotles-politics/study-guide/section3/

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