Chapter

Corrective Justice

Ernest J. Weinrib

in The Idea of Private Law

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199665815
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191748622 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665815.003.0003
Corrective Justice

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Aristotle's account of corrective justice describes the form of the private law relationship. Corrective justice treats the wrong, and the transfer of resources that undoes it, as a single nexus of activity and passivity where actor and victim are defined in relation to each other. Being concerned with structure not substance, Aristotle presents corrective justice in formal terms, as an equality between the two parties to a bipolar transaction, in contrast to distributive justice, which is a proportion in which each person's share is relative to a distributive criterion. Although formal, Aristotle's account is not empty. It captures the coherence of the private law relationship and the categorical difference between private and public law. Because Aristotle omits to tell us what the transactional equality of corrective justice is an equality of, his account must be supplemented by Kant's philosophy of right.

Keywords: Aristotle; corrective justice; distributive justice; equality; Kant; right and duty

Chapter.  11648 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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