Compare Aristotle with Kant, Rawls, and the utilitarians. Which theory offers us the most successful theory of justice?
The essence of justice is a massively studied model. With the help of different social sciences, head scholars continue to reflect on the field and outline of what appears to bear a visionary semblance but whose versions in time of history has often taken different perspectives. An equiparation of the versions of justice in main disciplines of psychology, legal studies, philosophy, economic studies, and sociology, for example, show only very insular convergence lines. An analysis of Aristotle’s interpretation of justice in comparison with Victorian principles and later on in the works of Kant, Rawls and utilitarians and other contemporary thoughts demonstrate in abstract and evidence-based studies are to show various understandings whenever they are matched up to each other.
Aristotle’s ideas of rightful justice are that in which a judge, that is bound to exercise his cardinal virtues, shows correct judgment. It is suggested by Aristotle that such kind of practice, is not compassable if there is no plain definition of the principles of the judge to “telos of the good life”. It is also not compassable without having practical wisdom. Such idea determines a form of judicial practice where only the ethically virtuous and not the professional in philosophy or the law, can estimate the essence and content of correctional justice to be used in various cases. Here one can see that in this version of the justice that the next section studies Aristotle’s conception of justice - either as a personal virtue or as a principle of politics.
Aristotle dedicates his fifth Book of the Nicomachean Ethics. Here one can see a discussion, where Aristotle gives a definition for justice. He defines justice is having 2 diverse but connected meanings—general justice and individual justice. General Justice is moral described in relation to other individuals. Therefore, the rightful person in this meaning deals honorably and in a befitting way with other people, and conveys his moral in his synergy with them—not telling lies or deceiving or taking from people anything that isn’t his. Individual justice is the rightful distribution of just merits to other people. Aristotle considered that individual or particular fairness is proportional—it deals with people obtaining what is proportional to their deserts. In the part about individual or particular justice, Aristotle claims that an educated judge must apply just reclusions concerning any particular case. Here one can see the scope of fairness: the wimpled judge is a symbol for blind justice and the one that weigh all the proofs and chewing over each particular case separately.
When speaking about justice as “a moral virtue requiring specific discussion,” Aristotle simply opens his version of the matter of justice to endless reflections. First of all, Aristotle’s reason about political justice has attracted round disputes. Many different philosophers and law scholars debated that Aristotle’s chapter on justice is not clear. Some of them argue that, even though the part about justice notionally follows same methods as the other works, it does not show a main point amidst two oppositions of perfect justice and perfect injustice. It is believed that Aristotle sees justice as a political principle. As Aristotle points out, he came down to the point of particular justice in total informedness that people most of the time mean other things when using the word. He extremely calls attention to the primary disparity in such usage in the reference to the type of people that ought to be called just. One kind of such people is just by being lawful either by being bondable. Furthermore, a reference to an outspread of resources is a closer reference to justice. Aristotle further shows that anything that is unjust is illegal. In contrast, he says that not all that is illegal is unjust. For that matter, it is safe to say that a good man is not, in every case, a good citizen.
At the present day, nevertheless, justice is a principle of institutions and societies. What is interesting is that, the line of such virtuous justice is in approaches and not in practices. One can find that according to Rawls, justice is a primary amidst virtues of social institutions but stays only so in moral practice. In his concept presented in “A Theory of Justice”, he tries to make no mention of problems such as the being of an absolute, just, or righteous society that old philosophers were animated about. In reality, Rawls challenges view of Aristotle about justice as a virtue that needed further reflections.
Rawls’ account of personal justice is characterizing many more modern thought and beliefs about this very topic. It is commonly believed that no enforceable justice is around amidst people unless by a collection of laws enforced by a national government. This is opposite to what Aristotle hypothesized in connecting personal justice to political justice. He referred political justice to as correctional justice. For example Kant adverts the passing of punishment in community as evident in modern social contracts. Nevertheless, even such method is nothing but a reflection on the standard import of correctional justice.
Rawls tried to explain the motivation for just conduct outside the original position, and on doing so Rawls, unlike Kant, clarifies the mature of the motivation for support of moral precept in day to day life. On this subject, Rawls can be understand as synthesizing moment of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics to allow the rationale to illustrate why a person that knows what is ethically appropriate behavior in a created situation, makes such information the subject matter of an action. Such discussion is important for several reasons. First of all, demonstrating the Aristotelian roots of Rawls’ Kantianism with due account for the issue of motivation for just behavior assists one to realize how Rawls could illustrate Kant’s moral theory not as “a ethically of strict command yet . . . as a moral of solidarity and self-esteem.”
It is possible to say that Kant’s and Aristotle’s view are at the opposite sides. Kant shares opinion, which Aristotle rejects, that the idea of justice—moral justice—is the expedient of moral theory and the source of the normative force of the moral oughts. Kant’s attributes that force to individual human persons to legislate the ethical law for themselves in the principle of their actions. Kant tries in his own way to substantiate moral duty in a way of how an authority makes ethical norms into laws by commanding them. It is very important for Kant that morality is free from happiness and is assumed to exist and work as a constraint upon pursuing it. Happiness cannot produce categorical claims that reasonably demand agreements and maximally gives rise to “imperfect obligations” of virtue.
Utilitarianism is a theory of justice that is set up on a method of utility, endorsing all actions that increase people’s happiness or decreasing unhappiness and objecting every action that reduce it. A utilitarian idea is that justice has to find ways to create the biggest happiness of the biggest number. A law is rightful if it turns out in happiness, even with the help of expenditures of minorities. However, one can see that the issue here is that minorities might not form part of the "biggest number". This is a distinctive issue in a pluralistic society.
This theory is still prominent in the democratic decision-making process. It is believed that it is a mundane theory demanding no reference to any natural rights or other abstract religious methods justifiably only by faith. The concept of maximizing the general happiness of the society is mostly applied on a political level of a country and nation.
It is possible to explain this theory as specification of moral equality. This in a sense meant to provide the same examination to the interests of all people. From the utilitarian point of view, as every single human being is counted as one person and no one as more than one person, the interests of all people have to be treated evenly with no consideration of contents of interest or a person’s economic situation. Parity of treatment should be applied to everyone who is able to ask a fair piece, and not in all concerns having alike weight in disposal over my piece.
Utilitarianism appears in different forms. Classical utilitarianism, the 19th century concept, is the philosophy of “the greatest happiness of the greatest number.” Nowadays, contemporary alteration is average utilitarianism that tells us “don’t boost t good or happiness, but rather stick to the middle level in community”. The utilitarian concept, as Rawls stands against it, is that our community has to be organized so as to raise (the general or medium) aggregate utility. It is believed that according to the history, utilitarianism prevails the moral philosophy, often being “denied,” but always arising up from the ashes. According to Rawls “until an adequately finished and methodic alternative is created to compete with utilitarianism, its redevelopment will be infinite. Furthermore, to develop such constructive option, nevertheless, he also offered some very important reflection of utilitarianism. Unfortunately this theory cannot concede any limitations on interests established on ethics or justice. As long as such concept lacks an idea of justice and fair assignment, it has to fail in its aim of treating people as equals.