All posts filed under: justice

Friendship and the State

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Aristotle / friendship / justice / Politics

 In chapter 9 of book III of the Politics, Aristotle discusses the general relation between justice and the state. In the course of examining the relation of equality and inequality, Aristotle proposes that the state “exists for the sake of a good life, and not the sake of life only” (1279b31-32). Notice that the good is already predicated of the state in this statement, and it is because of this bias that Aristotle will conclude: […]

On Recognition, or Why Dogs Make Great Philosophers

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justice / Plato / Politics / sameness / the Republic

There are various moments in the Republic, especially in book II which we will focus on here, where justice is elusively illustrated according to those to whom justice is attributed, i.e. proceeding from types which partake in or lay claim to justice and showing by example not only the essence of justice but how it is in itself good. Now, obviously all of this is evident from the text and does not require repeating except […]

Hegel and Universality

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awareness / Hegel / justice / language / law / levinas / objectivity / ontology / Politics / reason / society / teaching / time / tyranny

[Photograph by Will Godfrey] In an essay Hoffmeister suggests was written in 1808 or 1809, Hegel — certainly not without some irony — identifies an important ethical connection between abstract thought and power: Who thinks abstractly? The uneducated, not the educated. Good society does not think abstractly because it is too easy, because it is too lowly (not referring to the external status) — not from an empty affectation of nobility that would place itself […]

Explosions in the Sky

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ego / freedom / humanity / justice / other / peace / philosophy / Politics / truth / war

Common to both capitalism and democracy is competition as the basic principle of social organization. Politics in a purely competitive key has a majoritarian ring — it is monistic, totalizing, self-absorbed — whereas philosophy from the competitive perspective — and we may wonder whether there have yet been any others — are egologies. The complementary model, or sharing, has been more frequently preached than practiced. Yet it is the meaning of language: the demand for […]

Happiness or Justice? Ethics and the Politics of Friendship

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Aristotle / difference / ethics / ethnology / friendship / happiness / humanity / justice / light / Plato / Politics / science / society / spiritual evolution

No one would choose a friendless existence on condition of having all the other things in the world. Aristotle In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. The young they keep out of mischief; to the old they are a comfort and aid in their weakness, and those in the prime of life they incite to noble deeds. A true friend is one soul in two bodies… ibid There is […]

Outline of Aristotle’s Ethics

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Aristotle / character / classical philosophy / ethics / eudamonia / happiness / justice / law / Plato / Politics / virtue

“We make war that we may live in peace.” Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics — 1177b (Book X, Chapter 7) Let’s try to understand this work first through the method by which its project is assembled, the way the text functions. In general Ta Ethika has three phases or stages of development: (a) a general, in-depth study of the “good” and the “good life”; (b) an analysis of moral virtue or excellence; and (c) an investigation into […]

Nietzsche’s Glance at the State: Socialism, Nationalism, Universalism

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democracy / justice / nationalism / Nietzsche / socialism / universal politics / utopia

In January of 1872, less than a year after Germany officially becomes a nation, Nietzsche gives a series of five lectures at the University of Basel on the future of our educational/cultural institutions. Six years later in section 8 of Human All Too Human we find Nietzsche discussing the future of political institutions and the fate of European nations. One of the questions that Nietzsche asks in his analysis of socialism, nationalism and democracy is […]

Lying

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denial / justice / lying / reality / society / truth

Words signify man’s refusal to accept the world as it is.Walter Kaufmann Sometimes you’ve just got to look reality in the face and deny it. Isn’t hope found finally in a (socially positive) sort of ‘lying’, a clear-eyed courage and a deep spiritual assurance? This natural social impulse could be literalized as something like: “even though you can’t help but be false, still always tell the truth.” I think this is actually the very beginning […]