The Concept of Justice: How Fundamental Is It in Ethics and Political Philosophy?

Christoph Horn


This article attempts to challenge those contemporary philosophical approaches to justice (and this is the majority of them) which ascribe to the notion of justice a dominant role within ethics and political philosophy. In the first section, this overestimation of justice is traced back to J.S. Mill (and to John Rawls). After having pointed out some of the essential features of the Millian (and Rawlsian) concept, I show how far these attributes are away from what we (in our everyday language) mean by the word ‚justice’. Finally, I try to spell out what might be more plausibly seen as the focus of our shared moral intuition, and to highlight to which extent there is an overlap with our common idea of justice.


Justice; Good; Evil; Mill; Rawls

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ethic@. Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, SC, Brasil, eISSN 1677-2954

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