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A Brief History of Justice

David Johnston

ISBN: 978-1-444-39754-3 March 2011 Wiley-Blackwell 280 Pages


A Brief History of Justice traces the development of the idea of justice from the ancient world until the present day, with special attention to the emergence of the modern idea of social justice.
  • An accessible introduction to the history of ideas about justice
  • Shows how complex ideas are anchored in ordinary intuitions about justice
  • Traces the emergence of the idea of social justice
  • Identifies connections as well as differences between distributive and corrective justice
  • Offers accessible, concise introductions to the thought of several leading figures and schools of thought in the history of philosophy
Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Prologue: From the Standard Model to a Sense of Justice 7

1 The Terrain of Justice 15

2 Teleology and Tutelage in Plato's Republic 38

3 Aristotle's Theory of Justice 63

4 From Nature to Artifice: Aristotle to Hobbes 89

5 The Emergence of Utility 116

6 Kant’s Theory of Justice 142

7 The Idea of Social Justice 167

8 The Theory of Justice as Fairness 196

Epilogue: From Social Justice to Global Justice? 223

Glossary of Names 233

Source Notes 239

Index 257

“Highly recommended.  Lower-level undergraduates through graduate students; general readers.” (Choice, 1 March 2012)