What is justice based on


1. Term: The Roman lawyer Ulpian (170–228 AD) provides a concise definition: "Justice is the firm and permanent will to assign everyone his right". Justice governs human relationships with other human beings, that is, it concerns interactions, and it always contains a moment of equality. The central question is how the “ius suum”, “his right”, is determined.

2. Justice as a Virtue: According to the classical concept, justice has been the highest virtue in social coexistence since ancient Greece. It represents an individual attitude, attitude, according to which an actor carries out the individual actions. It will two forms of Differentiated justice:
(1) The iustitia commutativa, Exchange-Justice or balancing Justice, regulates the relationship between equals; in exchange, performance and consideration (in the opinion of the exchange partners) must be equivalent.
(2) The iustitia distributiva, the allocating Justice (not the distributive justice, into which it is modernly reinterpreted), regulates the relationship between unequal such as between state and citizen and requires that the higher authority allocates to different people with subordinate status without concrete consideration in such a way that people with the same Status are treated equally (horizontal justice) and the distance between different positions is adequately taken into account (vertical justice). Those who act according to these principles have the virtue of righteousness.

This concept remains decisive until the 19th century.

3. Social justice: a) In today's discussion, the term “social justice” dominates. He's diving for the first time Middle of the 19th century as in the course of the differentiation of the social subsystem economy from the Action control on Control panel is changed: Now no longer actions, but rules or rule systems, according to which the actions in the economy take place, are questioned for their justice. The social question of the 19th century was the immediate cause for this. To this day it is controversial whether and, if so, how one can reformulate an action category to a system category.

b) Until about 1970 attempts were made to fix the justice of a system, specifically the market economy (but also the earlier central administration economy), to certain macroeconomic distribution results; one also speaks of DistributionJustice. Certain distribution profiles (distribution) were normatively marked, and it was the task of politics to bring them about. The normative yardstick was - at least regulatively - practically always the equal distribution, even if one was prepared to accept compromises due to pragmatic, property law and other considerations. Social policy with income redistribution and the welfare state are partly conceived in this spirit.

c) This conception of the Justice as an outcome-As became clear around 1970, justice must be for systematic and pragmatic-political reasons fail.
(1) As a result of unequal initial endowments, the production of (approximately) the same distribution results requires the different actors to be treated differently, which violates a fundamental demand for justice.
(2) Since allocation and distribution are systematically interdependent, closer approximation to equal distribution can lead to weak growth and poverty.
(3) It is inappropriate to think of a market process in which the outcome is the unintended result of innumerable actions by individuals pursuing their own ends as a model of distributive justice because there is no one to distribute.
(4) The term social justice ”can be misused in the political struggle to justify group interests.

A theoretically convincing reformulation of an action category to a system category was still not successful. For Hayek, the term social justice is as nonsensical as the expression “a moral stone”.

d) Rawls 1971 (A Theory of Justice) declares justice to be the "first virtue of social institutions" and consistently takes into account the interdependence of allocation and distribution. The equality of all people consists in the fact that they are moral subjects. From this he concludes that the equality in the distribution of the basic goods - freedom, opportunities, income and wealth - is taken as the starting point of the normative theory of justice, but an unequal distribution of the basic goods of opportunities, income and wealth - but not of freedom - then can be considered fair if the disadvantaged achieve greater advantages as a result than through (greater) equal distribution (consensus ethics).

Rawls is on the way from outcome justice to ProceduralJustice. Unequal initial endowments, e.g. especially talents, are no longer neutralized, but understood as a "social asset", as capital that can bring benefits to the disadvantaged and therefore earn social support. With this conception of social justice, Rawls formulates the social philosophy of welfare state democracies of the western model.

e) Establish a coherent theory of social justice Brennan and Buchanan 1985 before. They are even more concerned with rules and their justice than Rawls.

Actions are just if they follow rules, there is only justice “within rules”. It is the rules that define Ulpian's “ius suum” because they formulate the actors' “justified expectations”. Social justice, however, is about the question of when the rules - the institutions, the economic system - can be judged to be fair. Here Brennan and Buchanan find the way to judge rules as fair if they correspond to higher rules, meta-rules. In this way they can hold on to the idea that justice generally presupposes rules - qua formulations of justified expectations - and they can judge rules for their own justice. You get through the imagination of a Rule hierarchy ultimately to the “constitution” in which the “legitimate expectations” of the members of a society are laid down by consensus. The ultimate standards for justice can be found neither in external bodies in society (ethics) nor in excellent results (distribution profiles), but only in society Procedure of constitution making and constitutional development. Since not every exchange presupposes a common constitution in the formal sense, this process depends on the strength of the factual interdependencies in societies, i.e. on common history and culture, on the intensity of economic and communication relationships, etc.

See also order economics.

4. Recent developments: There are four recent developments in the justice discourse. a) Against the traditionally universalistic conception of justice based on the idea of ​​equality, authors such as Elster and Walzer argue local Righteousness enforced. The “ius suum”, the legitimate expectations, are interpreted here as being dependent on e.g. traditions or cultures, including organizational cultures. The idea of ​​interculturally different moral standards is intraculturally related to the various smaller social units. This is where empirical justice research comes in.

b) The question is whether the category of social justice can be applied to relationships with the Third World. This depends on the intensity of the factual relationships: It seems that interdependencies are developing globally in such a way that third world states gradually become partners in an - explicit (international treaties) or implicit - world social contract. Such facts gradually develop into legitimate expectations which (can) then flow into formal or informal constitutions.

c) In the context of the discussion about sustainability, the concept becomes a intergenerational Justice discussed. A similar problem arises here as in the past with social justice: the problem indicated by it is undisputed, but it is still difficult to give the term a sufficiently precise meaning.

d) The same applies to attempts to obtain a Justice to animals - and "nature" - to formulate.

See also distribution policy, principle of equality, order economics.