In this paper I offer a conceptual characterization of the idea of a “sense of justice” as a suitable motivational basis for respect for the principles of justice in force in a given society, and argue that a similar concern can be found not only in John Rawls, who expressely talks about that notion, but also in Aristotle. My main contention is that both thinkers invite readers to conceive of the sense of justice as an attitude admitting of various degrees, ranging from a fear-inspired respect for the law up to an unconditional appreciation of the established constitutional principles and the laws stemming fom such principles. In the first part of this paper, I will address Aristotle’s view of a natural capacity of human beings for sociability, political participation and functional interdependence within the city culminating in a virtue-based political friendship. In the second part I will contend that, in Rawls’ view, the individual sense of justice is at work not only after the establishment of a public conception of justice (contrary to what a prima faciereading of A Theory of Justice might suggest), but also in a phase ante legem.

Developing a Sense of Justice. Aristotle and John Rawls on Reasoned Respect for the Law and Stable Political Systems

Elena Irrera
2021

Abstract

In this paper I offer a conceptual characterization of the idea of a “sense of justice” as a suitable motivational basis for respect for the principles of justice in force in a given society, and argue that a similar concern can be found not only in John Rawls, who expressely talks about that notion, but also in Aristotle. My main contention is that both thinkers invite readers to conceive of the sense of justice as an attitude admitting of various degrees, ranging from a fear-inspired respect for the law up to an unconditional appreciation of the established constitutional principles and the laws stemming fom such principles. In the first part of this paper, I will address Aristotle’s view of a natural capacity of human beings for sociability, political participation and functional interdependence within the city culminating in a virtue-based political friendship. In the second part I will contend that, in Rawls’ view, the individual sense of justice is at work not only after the establishment of a public conception of justice (contrary to what a prima faciereading of A Theory of Justice might suggest), but also in a phase ante legem.
Elena Irrera
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/896525
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