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Justice : what's the right thing to do?

12-72. (원서) Justice: What's the Right ting to do - Michael Shandel We are living in the middle of the place where money is everything. The problem is that as we are getting accustomed to this situation, we don't recognize how serious it is. Then, why have we been as we are ? I think the cause is the education. The direction of education in Korea is toward the universe with better reputation. It leads to classes where subjects such as English and Math is the most important things. Subjects which give students what a person is or how he or she lives in the society are not acknowledged as the significant subjects. This book 'Justice' is the one to make up for the paucity of the recognition about how we are living in the modern society. When I was picking up this book in the bookstore, I didn't expect it to be so difficult and have to be read. However, as I had been reading it, it made me realize that it should be put in the book list to buy. If there is a person not to have a chance to read it, he or she had better do it right now.  Some principles of justice like Utilitarianism, Liberalism and philosophy of three philosopher appear in the book.  1. Utilitarianism: The justice of a utilitarian is how many people are happy. "The highest principle of morality is to maximize happiness, the overall balance of pleasure over pain. p. 34" It may be right on the surface. But there are two objection. One is individual right. This principal is totally ignoring a minority. The other is that it isn't possible to measure all moral valves in one common value. "In order to aggregate preferences, it is necessary to measure them on a single scale..... According to this objection, all values can't be captured by a common currency of value. p. 41"  2. Libertarian: Human has a right to do what he or she want in the range of not intervene in others. "Libertarians favor unfettered markets and oppose government regulation, not in the name of economic efficiency but in the name of human freedom. Their central claim is that each of us has a fundamental right to liberty- the right to do whatever we want with the things we own, provided we respect other people's rights to do the same. p.59-60" The author suggest the objection throwing the question " Do you think your choice is your own choice or your choice is influenced by social and individual background ? Of course, there is no choice not to be coerced by things like economic necessity and so on. In addition, society is the one which a large number of people get together. If all people prefer only their own right, what will happen in the society? The second objection is that. Liberalism turns to their back on social practices and common goods. " Valuing everything according to utility (or money) degrades those goods and social practices- including children, pregnancy, and parenting- that are properly valued according to higher norms. p.98" In our society which this principle is prevailing, it doesn't seem to be surprising that people are living for themselves.  3. Kant: He says that justice is based on pure practical reasons and freedom. The freedom he wanted to say is different from what libertarian says. "To act freely, according to Kant, is to act autonomously. And to act autonomously is to act according to a law I give myself- not according to the dictates of nature or social convention. p.109" Then, where is the law from? According to Kant, it is from reason. The reason makes us do something as an end, not means. " Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end. p.122" The freedom governed by reason is called autonomy and the reason to respect for humanity is called categorical imperatives. Autonomy and categorical imperatives have us do something close to the justice.  4. John Rawls: Justice will be realized in the society where just contract is done in the veil of ignorance - in the state of knowing our advantages and disadvantages. He thinks that as every person has a different starting point and even talent whom a person has is given by external circumstances, the result can't help being different. So, in the veil of ignorance, internal and external circumstances will be equal. Nevertheless, somebody will stand out in the society. He says that such a person has to do something for the public.  5. Aristotle: Justice is the distribution of reward in accord with individual's nature. "Justice means giving people what they deserve, giving each person his or her due. p.187" , "Aristotle claims that in order to determine the just distribution of a good, we have to inquire into the telos, or purpose, of the good being distributed. p.188" Also, he emphasizes that a person should participate in politics. Unlike animals, human has a language to express his or her opinion. This is for discussion with others as a born gift. Aristotle thinks that while using language in politics, human is able to acquire practical wisdom. This practical wisdom is the thing to act with good judgement.  The author is saying what justice is to himself at the end of the book. This is a little bit long but I want to end my writing, quoting all of them because that will be like the summary of this book. "Over th course of this journey, we've explored three approaches to justice. One says justice means maximizing utility or welfare - the greatest happiness for th greatest number. The second says justice means respecting freedom of choice - either the actual choices people make in a free market (the libertarian view) or the hypothetical choices people would make in an original position of equality (the liberal egalitarian view-John Rawls). The third says justice involves cultivating virtue and reasoning about the common good. As you've probably guessed by now, I favor a version of the third approach. p.260"
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