FREE Plato: Justice vs. Injustice Essay - ExampleEssays
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Justice According to Plato and Aristotle ..
The principle of responsibility provides a central normative vantagepoint for deciding on what grounds one might justify whichinequality. The positive formulation of the responsibility principlerequires an assumption of personal responsibilty (Cf. especiallyDworkin 1981b, contra: Anderson 1999). Unequal shares of social goodsare thus fair if they result from the decisions and intentionalactions of those concerned. Persons are themselves responsible forcertain inequalities that result from their voluntary decisions; andthey deserve no compensation for such inequalities, aside from minimalprovisions in case of dire need (see below). As autonomousindividuals, we all, individually and subsidiarily, bearresponsibility both for the consequences of our actions and forameliorating unequal conditions. This corresponds to the conditions ofour shared life. Inversely, in its negative formulation theresponsibility principle signifies the following: inequalities thatare not the result of self-chosen options are to be rejected asunjust; if a person has this kind of disadvantage, then there must becompensation. What one can do nothing about or is not responsible forcannot constitute a relevant criterion. Still, the initial assumptionremains an ascription of responsibility and each individual caserequires close scrutiny: one is responsible and accountable unlessthere is an adequate reason for being considered otherwise. A processof elimination reveals which individual differences should not justlymatter because they do not result from personalresponsibility. Advantages or disadvantages that are due to arbitraryand unearned differences in social circumstances or natural endowmentsare unfair. Socio-economic advantages and disadvantages that personscan be expected to adopt because they are born into them must beexcluded. Widely shared intuitions of this sort lead to the demand forfair equality of opportunity: people with the same abilities and thesame readiness to use them should have the same chances of success,regardless of their initial social position. But choosing naturalfeatures such as parentage, sex, skin color, height, and indeed innateintelligence as a fundamental basis for distribution is itself unjust:all these features have a discriminatory effect but have not beendeliberatly acquired and cannot be altered by the individual. Thereasons speaking for the exclusion of features like skin color,height, sex and parentage as discriminatory apply equally to othernatural human qualities like intellegence, appearance, physicalstrength, and so forth that are often chosen as criteria fordistribution. The kind and the extent of one's natural abilities aredue to a lottery of nature; considered from a moral standpoint theirdistribution is purely arbitrary (Rawls 1971, 48). For this reason wehave good and readily perceptible reasons for rejecting the use ofsuch features as basic criteria for social distribution. Consequentlyanything for which we are not responsible cannot be considered arelevant ground for unequal distribution; and both natural endowmentand social position are excluded, constituting irrelevant grounds forexeption. Just distribution must be simultaneously insensitive toendowment and sensitive to responsibility. Natural and socialendowment must not count, personal intentions and voluntary decisionsshould count. Thus, a given social order is just when it equalizes asmuch as possible, and in a normatively plausible way, all personaldisadvantages for which the person is not responsible; and when it atthe same time accords individuals the capacity to bear theconsequences of their decisions and actions, in accordance with theircapacity for autonomy. Every advantage that cannot be justified needsto be equalized, as well as every disadvantage not due to personalchoice and responsibility.
How does Socrates define justice and injustice? - Quora
Only some egalitarians hold inequality to be bad per se. Most oftoday's egalitarians are pluralistic, i.e. recognize other valuesbesides equality. Many egalitarians regard the moral significance ofchoice and responsibility as one of the most important other valuesbesides equality. They hold that it is bad - unjust or unfair - forsome to be worse off than others through no fault or choice of theirown (Temkin 1993, 13) and therefore they strive to eliminateinvoluntary disadvantages for which the sufferer cannot be heldresponsible (Cohen 1989, 916).
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