Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association

Volume 90, 2016

Justice: Then and Now

M. T. Lu
Pages 121-132

The Missing Virtue
Justice in Modern Virtue Ethics

Several commentators have noted that “justice has not fared well in the revival of virtue ethics”; it “has become damagingly marginalized” and “no longer has a starring role.” Given its traditional place among the four cardinal virtues this is a remarkable state of affairs and yet exactly this has occurred has not been adequately explored or explained. In this paper, I argue that the particular moral virtue of justice has been largely disregarded by the contemporary virtue theorists primarily because their conception of justice is so different from Aristotle’s. Accordingly, they do not need the virtue of justice to do the kind of explanatory work in their systems that it does in Aristotle’s.