Justice: a Compassion-Based Theory


27/10/2018 (Saturday)

2.00 - 5.00 pm

The Adelaide

A Saturday School presented by Fauzia Rahman-Greasley

Justice is a central concept in ethics, law, and politics. We generally think of justice as good and desirable; whereas injustice is considered bad and undesirable: no one would choose to be treated unjustly. Yet defining justice is notoriously difficult and the subject of on-going philosophical debate.

This day school starts by exploring some of the ways in which justice has been understood by philosophers, past and present. It will be shown that theories of justice based on utilitarianism, contractarianism and egalitarianism fail to explain widely-held beliefs about what justice requires us to do in a wide and varied range of circumstances. Recent findings from developmental psychology and psychotherapy will be drawn upon in order to support a compassion-based theory of justice. The theory will be defended against a series of objections. Finally, some practical implications of the theory will be discussed, especially regarding education, medical ethics, and criminal law.