The fair and the legal

08 Feb

Legality is evidently based on laws, even if strange or questionable, it is a kind of “social contract” for living in society, which is why the topic of the previous post is relevant, even more so if one considers that the highest point of what is legal today is neocontractualism.

Paul Ricoeur wrote in two volumes on the subject, done in the form of essays, in the third essay he deals with John Rawls’s Theory of Justice, not only attests to its relevance but also he claims what almost all of us said at a time in our childhood : “this is unjust” and then this precedes the sense of the Just as they also concern not only the law, but all people.

Ricoeur in the preface of Justo 1 already pays attention to the detail that the theme is connected to the idea of ​​what is ethical, in classical philosophy, is “the desire for a ‘good life’ with and for others in just institutions”, and here he situates A good part of the civilizing crisis has emerged: the mistrust that exists in democratic institutions.

The expression “good life” taken up from Aristotle is a qualifier of good in a strict ethical sense, so the good is inseparable from the good of the other, under the penalty of being nothing more than a reprehensible selfishness, which degrades the subject in the sense of moral plane.

Put more clearly, the relationship with the other is constitutive of self-awareness, and it is, to a certain extent, ethical beyond the legal and merely moral.

Where only obedience is decisive, even with an inner conformity to the moral Law, which can be unavoidable in every ethical life, this has something beyond the Law, in it man desires the Good, aspires to the Good for himself and for others, in a sense that also becomes consciousness for the other.

It is obvious that this finds a barrier in our faults, the bad feelings, the bad actions, the violence that mark society since the most primitive times, in this sense it is necessary to awaken the conscience of guilt, which contains in it the very conception of judgment, this means to limit yourself.

For this reason, the theme of freedom is relevant, what kind of freedom is desired and under the pretext of what conception of justice, thus “fair institutions” are needed.

So this is Ricoeur’s formula: “: « the desire for a good life with and for others in just institutions », without them the legal becomes revolting.

However, it must be said that “institutions” are not limited to the legal aspect, in the same way that what is fair cannot be reduced to what is legal, it is necessary to analyze it in depth.

To explain this, Ricoeur says what is awareness of the Law: “Applying a norm to a particular case is an extremely complex operation, which implies a style of interpretation irreducible to the mechanics of practical syllogism”, that is, simple logical rules, there is not one subjectivity, but a transcendence.

When giving a lecture to the L’Arche Association (founded by Jean Vanier) that cares for exceptional people, he addressed the theme and spoke of respect when dealing with the difference between the normal and the pathological, relying on the works of Georges Canguilhem, who discusses the epistemology of biology.




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