Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Adam J. McKee
Many difficult debates have been waged fought over the concept of justice, because defining exactly what justice means is a complex task. Various philosophers and legal theorists have approached the notion of justice from different perspectives over the course of human history. Justice is conceptualized by some in terms of equality: Everyone should get or have the same amount, regardless of how much they produce. Some define justice in terms of equity: People should get benefits in proportion to what they contributed to producing them. The greater the quality and quantity of production, the more an individual should be rewarded. The converse of this is also argued; punishment should be meted out in proportion to the harm done. This is the idea of “just deserts,” and it gives rise to the doctrine of “an eye for an eye.” Still another definition of justice focuses not on outcome but on process. ...