My aim in this talk is to contribute to a rehabilitation of Aristotle’s account of justice in NE V by demonstrating that it has more internal coherence along one important dimension than has been supposed. The difficulty is the impression that Aristotle’s foundational taxonomy of justice in NE V.1-2 is contradicted elsewhere in the book. The absoluteness of each of his two primary distinctions - that between general and particular justice and that between distributive and corrective forms of particular justice - seems to be undermined by what he says later on. As I will show, the idea of reciprocity (or ‘reciprocal justice’) is a pivot in the argument of the book. When properly understood, reciprocity holds the key to dismissing each of these two apparent problems and demonstrating the unity of a large part of the book. Moreover, through my inquiry, the specific character of particular justice itself will be brought to light.
Chair: Karen Margrethe Nielsen
If you would like to join the speaker for dinner after the seminar, please email the chair, Karen Margrethe Nielsen, by Tuesday 8th May.
Workshop in Ancient Philosophy Convenors: Prof Ursula Coope, Dr Karen Margrethe Nielsen, and Dr Luca Castagnoli