Ethics: Justice and Punishment (Part A) PRINTED



The concept of justice has been developed from the time of Plato to modern philosophers eg. Nazick and Rawls. There are two theories concerining justice.

1. Theories which focus on the importance of the individual.

2. Theories which focus on the importance of community.

Individualistic Scholars

Thomas Hobbes:

Developed the concept of a just society from an individualistic approach.

He argued that the leader of society should establish just laws to protect the rights of people. In return the members of society must respect the laws and authority.

John Locke:

Believed that all individuals should have rights but these rightss must be governed by the laws of society in which we live.

He considered that "each individual has amoral right not to harm another." We should simply concerm ourselves with our own personal needs.

Robert Nazick:

He approached the concept of justice from an individualistic approach. 

According to him we are entitled to all our earnings and possesions providing we remain within the boundaries of the law.

Community- favoured approach

Jean-Jacques Rosseau:

He argued in favour of a social construct based on communication principles.

Rosseau believed that the rights and needs of the individual were second to the needs of society.

John Rawls:

Says we habe a moral obligation to assist those who are less off than ourselves.

He claimed that in order to have a truly just society we must put aside all personal bias.

The Purpose of Punishment

1. Protection:

Criminals threaten the safety of individuals who live in their society. Therefore punishment


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