DEMETRIOS PATELIS, Assistant Professor,
Department of Sciences,
Technical University of Crete.
“Justice and prospects for unification of mankind”.
In: BOUDOURIS K. (Ed.), VALUES AND JUSTICE IN THE GLOBAL ERA. IONIA PUBLICATIONS, ATHENS 2007, pp. 180-194. http://www.hri.org/iagp/books/vol53.html
Justice is examined as a concept of moral philosophy, of moral consciousness and political consciousness regarding what should be done (“δέον”), and is connected to the historically changing views on man’s substance and his inalienable rights. Discrepancy between what really happens (“είναι”) and what should be done (“δέον”), linked to the fragmentation of the social body, is considered as injustice. As long as man’s exploitation and oppression by his fellow-men is historically necessary, injustice prevails, while the prospect of eliminating this exploitation appears as a prospect for justice. However, views on justice dissent and differ to the degree that material interests of individuals, groups (classes) and the whole society are divergent, different and opposite, whereas the perception about justice that dominates every time, is generally imposed by the bodies of sovereign material interests as a pseudogeneral justice, that is supposed to express the whole of the society.
Throughout the history of social and moral philosophy, the views about justice are related to the character of the emerging theories and ideals. Heraclitus considers justice and injustice as human properties. According to Socrates and Plato, justice is a fundamental virtue, along with wisdom, braveness, prudence and piety, while doing injustice (“αδικείν”) is more shameful than suffering injustice (“αδικείσθαι”). Aristotle introduces the distinction between corrective justice and distributive justice. In Christian ethics justice is connected to equality in the eyes of God, as an in-conscience substitute for inequalities defined by the “noble” origin. The bourgeois perception about justice is linked to formal equality (equality before the law) and theories on natural law. Marxism displays the character of justice related to history and social classes.
In the context of theory and methodology of the Logic of History, the terms of dialectic “sublation” of law and the related justice are displayed, in the prospect for the unification of mankind.