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Concept of Justice

Justice is a concept we believe we understand even if we have difficulty putting the concept into words. Justice is defined by the relationship that exists between the individual and the state, and justice means that the state treats every person equally and seeks to resolve disputes on the basis of the facts and compared to objective criteria rather than a subjective determination. Justice in the broadest sense is fairness. Justice cannot assure that every dispute comes out "correctly" or that no mistakes are made, but it should be such as to assure that the process by which decisions are made and goods allocated is fair and produces an acceptable result in the aggregate, even if an individual case justice might fail. Justice occurs when the distribution of political power and economic opportunity is as uniform as possible or when the social and political system is such that they tend toward a just distribution even if it is not achieved. Justice is clearly an ideal, and ideals are to be sought but may not be achievable. Justice is thus not defined by outcome but by the fairness of the process leading to an outcome.

Justice has been a primary concept to be examined and defined by political and philosophical thinkers throughout history, and many have tried to develop a concept of an ideal state that would be based on justice. Aristotle sought justice and defined it as the chief basis of the state. Justice in this sense governs our dealings with other people. Justice cannot be left to any one man as arbiter because man is imperfect. In a social setting, the good can be maintained by the mass, whereas an individual might or might not promote the good. Tyranny is the degeneration of a monarchy so that the ruler serves his own interests and not those of the common good. When polity degenerates, the result is mob-rule in which individuals seek only their own benefit and not that of the common good (Saunders 198). Clearly, A...

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Concept of Justice. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 09:57, February 11, 2016, from