Doing Justice to Justice: Ricœur's Discovery of the Juridical Plane

Philosophy Today 58 (4):591-606 (2014)
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This article takes up Paul Ricœur’s suggestion that he learned more about the idea of justice by positioning himself on the juridical plane than he had by moving directly to a consideration of political theory. It contends that Ricœur’s very interesting but largely neglected text, “The Just between the Legal and the Good,” illustrates the value of doing philosophical work at a level where there is an imperative to make a judgement and following on from that to distribute, in the fairest way possible, the goods that are at the heart of the dispute. The article also offers a detailed commentary on Ricœur’s text, noting the unusual form of critique that it brings to bear on Rawls’s principles of justice. It also discusses Ricœur’s proposals for entrenching those principles in a concrete judicial practice.



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