Political justice and innocence

29 Mar

State morality was developed together with the historical contractualist conception through Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) in particular in his Leviathan, John Locke (1632-1704), founder of empiricism and Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), for him man is born good and society corrupts him.

In the social contract, individual rights are transferred to state power by a contract and so it can be said that it is the root of the principle in dubio pro societate (in doubt, society is defended), there is no presumption of innocence.

The transfer of powers to the state also transfers the end of innocence that implies not allowing the emotional development of children and adolescents in a family environment, and thus the discussion of criminal age starts to make sense, and the whole concept of justice becomes political .

The contemporary development of contractualism is in the philosopher John Rawls (1921-2002) for whom a metaphysical conception of morality is not possible, he develops the concept of “justice as fairness” presented in his book “A theory of Justice ”.

John Rawls profoundly influenced the thinking of Michael Sandel who is one of the most influential current thinkers in the western culture of justice and thus heir of contractualism, and both are heirs of the Kantian conception of morality.

One of the rare authors to analyze this position was Paul Ricoeur (1913-20050 in his book The Just (Vol. I), dedicating a good part of the text to the analysis of John Rawls and developing the idea of law in its peculiar position, a half way between morality and politics, without which it is utilitarian and not by chance was deeply influenced by the utilitarian thought of John Stuart Mill (1806-1873). 

Equity is not possible without a personal human relationship, Ricoeur said: “The virtue of justice is established based on a relationship of distance with the other, as original as the relationship of proximity with the other offered in his face and in his voice” and this does not it is neither exact nor pragmatic.

RAWLS, John. (1997) Uma teoria da justiça. Tradução Almiro Pisetta e Lenita M. R. Esteves. Brazil, São Paulo: Martins Fontes.

RICOEUR, P. (1995) Le Juste 1. Paris : Éditions Esprit.

SANDEL, M.J. (2013) Como fazer a coisa certa. São Paulo: Civilização Brasileira.



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