Ariadne's Thread on Justice

Different Views

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Vera Speaking
This may help us get started. I've talked with everyone here and tried to come up with short summaries of how they would define justice. Here's what I've got:



  • Dee believes that justice consists in respecting and protecting everyone's individual rights. She considers herself a libertarian.
  • Ann thinks that justice is part of a set of rules that maximize human welfare. She considers herself a utilitarian with fairly liberal political views.
  • Fred thinks that justice must have a theological basis. There is a final goal ordained by God for each human being. Justice consists in providing people with whatever is needed to reach that goal.
  • John is, as usual, uncertain. (OK. OK. That's a joke. Sorry.) He is fascinated by Aristotle's notion of a flourishing individual. He wants to connect that flourishing with justice. Perhaps the just society is one that provides each of us with the basic protection and resources needed to flourish.
  • Ayesha believes that we may have gone too far here in the United States in defining and stressing individual rights. She believes that we need to restore a stronger sense of community and the common good. Perhaps justice consists in each of us receiving our share of that common good.
  • In my own view, we're at a stage in history at which the most important thing is the be aware of WHO gets to define justice. I'm skeptical about general rules, but I know that a lot of people have been excluded from the whole process of making rules. Whatever justice is, we will be a lot closer to it when that exclusion ends.


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