If we could answer that question, we could all go
home. But I wonder if we can answer it?
Whatever justice is, it would seem to be at the heart
of some of our most important political conflicts. We
make claims about justice all the time in our
political arguments. It seems to be a stronger claim
than simply saying that something is beneficial.
Perhaps even stronger than saying that something is
morally good. That might lead us to wonder what the
relationship is between the good and the just? Perhaps
we'll get to that question later.
The concept of justice also seems to be rather
plastic, a sort of Swiss army knife with lots of uses
in moral and political arguments. Think of all the
things we call just:
- Just societies
- Just laws
- Just institutions
- Just acts
- Just decisions
- Just distributions of things
- Just punishment
- Just men and women
- Just wars
I've asked Dee and Fred to think about some of the
political questions we are asking these days that are
concerned with justice.
The whole question involves such enormous variety.
How should we begin?