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Reason, Morality, and LawThe Philosophy of John Finnis$
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John Keown and Robert P. George

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199675500

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199675500.001.0001

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Finnis on Justice

Finnis on Justice

(p.151) 10 Finnis on Justice
Reason, Morality, and Law

John Gardner

Oxford University Press

Following Aquinas, John Finnis treats the domain of justice as the domain of duties owed to others, or (equivalently) actions to the performance of which others have a right. This chapter challenges the Aquinas–Finnis position from a more classically Aristotelian direction. It argues that the domain of justice is the domain of the allocative. There are cases in which duties owed to others are not allocative, and cases in which allocative considerations are not duties owed to others. The examination of these cases leads into a discussion of the forms of justice. Finnis initially gets these forms wrong, and is eventually led to abandon the search for forms altogether, by his Thomist mischaracterisation of the domain of justice. The chapter nevertheless finds much common ground with Finnis on justice, particularly on the place of justice in law.

Keywords:   John Finnis, justice, rights, duties, dues, allocation, distribution, commutation, correction, retribution

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