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Elements of a Just Society.docx

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PHIL 1100

Elements of a Just Society  Retributive – trying to answer question “how does society treat people who do not follow the rules” – if not consistent, society disintegrates o Theory of justice dealing with how societies treat those who violate laws  Distributive – how to allocate wealth, power, resources  equality o Theory of justice dealing with how society’s wealth, opportunity, and power should be distributed  Problem: it's a descriptive theory --> no justifications o Ex. Just because I don't go to office hours, Ahmad shouldn't care less about me  Talks about empathy but doesn't explain what empathy is  Types of justice o Retributive - trying to answer the question: how does society treat people who do not follow the rules? --> If inconsistent, society disintegrates o Distributive - how to allocate wealth, power, resources --> all about equality  Ethics =/= law ...ethics come first and law is based around that Classical Theories of Society: Confucius, Plato, and Aristotle  Confucius (Master Kong / Kong Fuzi) Society should be based on virtue. o Ren: a humane principle rooted in empathy and feeling for others o Zhong-yong: a state of harmony achieved through the practice of virtue o Li: the rules of propriety or moral customs of a society o Argued that society needed to be based on virtue and that will stop chaos  humanity and benevolence are very important o Best society is society that has achieved equilibrium (very similar to Golden Mean) o Forms harmonious society o If you hurt me, I hurt you  incentive for you to stop hurting me o To be virtuous requires self-restraint and commitment to idea of equilibrium o Harmonious society  based on a good and orderly government o Both the individual and the leaders of the state have a responsibility in creating an enlightened society founded on virtue o Ethical humanism: humans are capable of promoting welfare and dignity o An ethical perspective based on the belief that human intelligence is capable of promoting human welfare and dignity in a way that conforms to our essential nature o Adopts the idea that we have everything that we need o What is central to his view? Virtue: the rules of propriety = state of equilibrium o No requirement that you sacrifice everything o Society defines the rules of propriety o You belong in a society, in order for you to get by, you have to follow the rules o Harmonious society; don’t go to war  Plato: Society should be based on function and harmony o Society needs to function largely based on harmony and roles people play within society o A just society; The Republic; polis = city-state o What’s good for society is just o Plato rejected democracy  Mob rule is emotional, devastating; never the answer  Majority is usually wrong  Rejects democracy (he believ
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