Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Justice and Flute Players

Justice lecture 9 by Harvard University

Click here to view the video on youtube

This lecture talks of Aristotle's view that people should receive what they deserve; the best flute players should receive the best flutes. It seems like an obvious reflection of fairness, yet it is an abstract concept. I find it abstract because of its simplicity. Society exists as a group and this concept of fairness presumes that the group understands the individual. It also presumes that the individual understands themselves. How many people have enough experience to know whether they would be able to play the flute? Who has enough self knowledge to know what they deserve to receive? We could end up giving people, what they believe they deserve. Can everyone tell the difference between, what they need and what they want? Aristotle has a good understanding of what is fair although he asks too much of society. Our society is not defined by a moral debate of what is right and wrong. Society is a large group of people attempting to exist in harmony. It evolves and changes with the understanding of the group. You cannot expect society to give you fairness. However if you take the time to understand society you will find a way of working in harmony within it. Through harmony you realize what can be achieved within the existing framework.

Justice by Harvard University http://www.justiceharvard.org/ To read my thoughts on earlier lectures click on the label at the bottom of the blog that reads Justice by Harvard University.