How Have Ideas of Social Justice Changed From Ancient to Modern Philosophers in the Attempt to Envision the Ideal or Just Society?
Aristotle was critical of Plato’s reliance on intuitive reason and a supposedly immutable world of ideas. Instead, Aristotle believed that knowledge should be anchored in real experiences that can be perceived by the senses. Plato thus viewed happiness as an abstract, a fringe benefit of living a virtuous life and facilitating a harmonious social organization. Like Plato, Aristotle also placed emphasis on the virtuous life. However, Aristotle’s concept of happiness also differed significantly from his predecessor. In contrast to Plato’s tripartite soul, Aristotle divided the human soul into two elements — the rational and the irrational. While humans share irrational elements with animals, they also possess faculties that are distinctly human. For example, humans have the ability to control their bodily desires through reason. In addition, only humans are capable of logical calculation and intellectual activities, which Aristotle defines as intellectual virtue
Or, when you think of a system of justice, you might picture a courtroom where a jury determines what punishment is appropriate for a criminal proven to be guilty. This may be your version of justice being served. Today when we hear the term social justice, we may think of equal opportunities in society. For instance, you may view efforts to fight racism and sexism as movement toward greater social justice in our communities.
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