The Aesthetics of Justice: Harmony and Order in Chinese Thought

In his A Theory of Justice, John Rawls suggests that a society's notion of justice informs its distribution of rights, obligations, and goods. For him, "justice as fairness" ensures that the principles dictating this distribution be agreed upon fairly. I will argue that there is no exact parallel in the Chinese tradition to what Rawls is calling "justice as fairness." Instead, we see serving a similar purpose an emphasis on the regulation of harmonious processes within the body of society. This can be seen in the use of the Chinese word zhi (ÖÎ) to refer both to governing and to healing. In this sense, Chinese ideas about justice seem to come closer to Plato than to Rawls
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