Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association

Volume 90, 2016

Justice: Then and Now

Terence Irwin
Pages 55-70

Aristotle’s Second Thoughts on Justice

The Aristotelian Corpus contains two extended treatments of justice as a virtue of character: Magna Moralia i 33 and Nicomachean Ethics Book V (or Eudemian Ethics Book IV). Differences between the two treatments include these: (1) MM denies, but EN V affirms, that natural justice is part of political justice; (2) MM denies, but EN V affirms, that general (or ‘universal’) justice is an other-directed virtue that should concern us in the treatment of justice as a virtue; (3) MM does not discuss the relation between equity (epieikeia) and justice, while EN V affirms that equity and justice do not conflict. Are these differences connected? How are they to be explained? Might they help us to answer questions about (a) the relation of MM to the other two ethical treatises, and (b) the relation of EN V to the EE and to the EN ?