An inquiry on justice: Bases, bearers and principles

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy, Turkey

Approval Date: 2011


Supervisor: BARIŞ PARKAN


One of the prevalent notions in the late twentieth century‘s political philosophy, justice lies at the heart of ethics, politics and jurisprudence. In this study, while I insist on the dominion of politics and the economic mode of production over morality and law, I consider the ethical realm to be also very important in justifying political movements and transformations. Defining the concept of justice plays a role more or less in the realization of justice on the Earth. I try to reveal the bases of justice in the second chapter. My attitude can be defined as foundationalism and realism molded with historical materialism. Subsequently, I attempt to deal with the bearers of justice; i.e., individuals, institutions, or structures. The contemporary political theories on justice pay attention to the notion of the individual and the faculty of rationality. Although I admit the role ofindividuals in ensuring justice, social structures are the main bearers of justice. In the fourth chapter, I cover the main principles or pillars of justice, namely, equality, freedom, and rights. Equality can be classified as legal, political, social, economic and moral. I claim that economic equality is the principal one among others since economic inequality usually generates other inequalities. Economic equality can be satisfied through just production in which alienation and exploitation do not take place. Absence of exploitation is also required for realization of freedoms and human rights. Thus, I propose the principle of absence of exploitation as a primary justice principle, which is necessary but not sufficient to eradicate injustices in the world.