Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Justice and Anthropology
Patricia E. Erickson
Justice refers to the constant and perpetual disposition of legal matters or disputes to render every person his or her due. The concept of justice traces its origin to the Greek language. The Greek work “dike” corresponds to the idea of staying in one's assigned place or role. The Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle developed definitions of justice. Plato believed that justice means maintaining society's order with each person performing his natural role. Aristotle described justice in terms of proportion and equality. Aristotle believed that justice means treating individuals with fairness, and it is a matter of distributing goods in their right proportion. Although law and justice are related concepts, they have distinct definitions. Law, in its generic sense, is a body of rules or action or conduct prescribed by a controlling authority and having binding legal force. Justice, on the other hand, emphasizes fairness and rights. It implies the ...