Aristotle and justice

A reflection on justice, by Aristotle.

Aristotle is the author of The Nicomachean Ethics

Aristotle defines the object of the laws prescribed by universal justice, which legislates on what is relative to the common utility, i.e. the whole of the actions aiming at the happiness of the political community, but also on what is the object of all other particular virtues.

Justice is no longer a simple virtue among others.

It has the same goal as politics: happiness, which is the raison d’être of the city. But there is a precedence of justice over politics because justice encompasses the particular virtues and the ethical sphere.

Since man is essentially a zôon politikon (political animal), justice is the only way of practicing virtue that is consistent with man’s quiddity (quiddity is what a thing is in itself).