How Does Aristotle’s Ideas on Justice Influence the American Judicial System?

Topics: Justice, Law, Judge Pages: 3 (871 words) Published: August 11, 2008
“The unjust is divided into the lawless and the unfair, and the just into the lawful and the fair.” (Aristotle) How would a democracy flourish without the beliefs and teachings of Aristotle? American democracy, primarily the American judicial systems was formed on the belief of justice. What is justice?

How does Aristotle’s ideas on justice relate to the American Judicial system? The approach taken in this paper will focus on the similarities and differences between the two. Using Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics to discuss the relationship, this paper with show the ideas and procedures used to this day in our American Judicial System.

Justice is a hard word to define. Each person tends to have personal belief on what is just. Who is right? According to Aristotle, “Justice is complete virtue to the highest degree because it is the complete exercise of complete virtue.” According to the dictionary, justice is “the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness: to uphold the justice of a cause.” Aristotle describes the meaning of justice and the different forms of justice. Justice is defined as complete virtue in relation to another. He also explains that the extremes of vices are forms of injustice. Furthermore, the extremes of virtue are complete justice. Justice is the proportionate, when injustice is the counter proportionate.

Moreover, if a person takes something from another person, the action requires a justification for the person from whom the thing is taken from. The only justification for taking something that does not belong to you without permission is based on rectification. Rectification is where something that has been taken unfairly by one person at the cost of another are given back and equality is restored between the wronged person and the person who acted wrongfully is restored.

One aspect of justice in rectification is punishment. Punishment is the name given to the process of taking back what things...
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