The Ideal of Justice

The Ideal of Justice

The prominence of the subject of justice in the Ideal tradition, or at least up through Plato, is one that I think frankly baffles most people in modern democracies.  Well, of course, justice is important, and we have a system for that.  When someone is wronged or harmed, things need to be set right.  We even acknowledge our debt to the ancient Athenians: equal justice before the law, trial by jury, preponderance of evidence, presumption of innocence.  And perhaps just because the Athenians were so passionate about implementing justice, and really so successful at it (with the glaring exception of Socrates), it can be hard for us to understand why it still played such a big part in their thinking and writing.  It is, after all, the nominal subject of Plato’s Republic, which goes on about for 10 books.

Link to the essay.

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