What Is Distributive Justice? Essay

5293 Words Feb 7th, 2011 22 Pages
What is Distributive Justice?

Distributive justice is generally referred to as fairness regarding the pattern of distribution among individuals. In order for distributive justice to be met, it is necessary for goods to be distributed fairly or justly. Goods are anything that holds value to any person(s); if something does not have any value then it is not a good. Value is the main requirement for something to be considered a good; therefore, not only physical goods hold value. Thus, such things as labor and medical insurance can be considered a good (Galvin and Lockhart 1182). There are also different principles of distributive justice as interpreted by the different support groups. The first of these principles is the one of strict
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Yet, how would one know that a just person is a happy person (Demos 396)? Also, Socrates mentions two different meanings of justice throughout the Republic. First, he mentions that justice is to be valued for its own sake as well as for its effects. Then his second idea comes out later on towards the end of the book; justice is right because of its effects, which are that it results in happiness for the person who is just (Sachs 143-144). Plato is commonly very pensive throughout the Republic, and does not offer enough explanation to his arguments. One of Plato’s pupils, Aristotle, emerged as a great philosopher shortly after Plato. He wrote a book which had his opinion of distributive justice. Aristotle based his theory in Nicomachean Ethics off of the assumption that people possess some form of virtue. Aristotle spent a great deal of time explaining the different types of virtues, yet justice is the virtue that he spent the greatest amount of time explaining. His belief was that everyone has virtues, because everyone’s ultimate goal is to obtain happiness. People have virtues not only because they are good for themselves and society in general, but also because they fulfill that need for happiness (Winthrop 1202). The only real happiness exists from the performance of virtues; virtues are divided in two forms: moral and intellectual. If people are to follow their moral virtue or be just, then happiness will follow. It can then be concluded that people

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