Origins of Concepts of Justice

Topics: Justice, Punishment, John Rawls Pages: 8 (2088 words) Published: October 10, 2010
Chapter 4
The Origins and Concept of Justice

Chapter 4 Contents

Origins of the Concept of Justice
Components of Justice
Distributive Justice
Corrective Justice

1.Know the definitions, concepts, and origins of justice
2.Understand the components of justice including distributive, corrective, and commutative. 3.Be able to define procedural and substantive justice.
4.Understand the difference between the utilitarian rationale and retributive rationale under corrective justice.

Professionals in the criminal justice system serve and promote the interests of law and justice. An underlying theme of this chapter is that the ends of law and justice are different—perhaps even, at times, contradictory. Although criminal justice professionals use the word justice all the time, it may be the case that they are not at all familiar with the philosophical foundations of the concept. This chapter discusses justice and Chapter 5 discusses the administration of law.

Definitions of justice include fairness, equality, impartiality, appropriate rewards or punishments. •Justice should not be confused with “good.”
Walsh said justice may be “hardwired” in humans (cheaters and suckers). •Justice concerns rights and interests more often than needs. •Justice originates in the Greek word dike, which is associated with the concept of everything staying in its assigned place or natural role. •Plato said justice consists of maintaining the societal status quo. Justice is one of four civic virtues, the others being wisdom, temperance, and courage •Aristotle distinguished distributive justice from rectificatory justice. •Aristotle said the lack of freedom and opportunity for slaves and women did not conflict with justice, as long as the individual was in the role in which, by nature, he or she belonged.

Distributive justice is the allocation of the goods and burdens of society to its respective members. •Corrective justice concerns the determination and methods of punishments. •Commutative justice involves transactions and interchanges where one person feels unfairly treated. •Three continuing themes in any discussion of justice are fairness, equality, and impartiality.

Goods: economic goods, opportunities for development, and recognition •Two valid claims to possession are need and desert.
Lucas: need, merit, performance, ability, rank, station, worth, work, agreements, requirements of the common good, valuation of services, and legal entitlement.

The various theories can be categorized as egalitarian, Marxist, libertarian, or utilitarian, depending on the factors that are emphasized. •Sterba’s Distribution System includes
oPrinciple of Need.
oPrinciple of Appropriation and Exchange.
oPrinciple of Minimal Contribution
oPrinciple of Saving
Exercise: How Much Are They Worth?
Exercise: Who Should Be Promoted?
John Rawls’s combines utilitarian and rights-based. He proposes an equal distribution unless a different distribution would benefit the disadvantaged. oEach person is to have an equal right to the most extensive total system of basic liberties compatible with a similar system of liberty for all. oSocial and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both reasonably expected to be to everyone’s advantage and attached to positions and offices open to all (except when inequality is to the advantage of those least well-off ). oRawls uses a heuristic device that he calls the veil of ignorance to explain the idea that people will develop fair principles of distribution only if they are ignorant of their position in society. •Criticisms of Rawls’ theory of justice include

oThat the veil of ignorance is not sufficient to counteract humanity’s basic selfishness. oRawls’s preference toward those least well-off is contrary to the...
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