“‘Justice,’ or ‘Just’ Speech?: How Philosophy Conceives its Limit, from Plato through Kant, Hegel, and Arendt
Audio recording of a lecture given by Claudia Brodsky on April 28, 2023 as part of the Dean's Lecture & Concert Series. The Dean's Office has provided this description of the event: "The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that, of all the abstract ideas that actively orient, ground (or upend) the practical lives and histories of human beings, the inherently relational notion of “justice” is perhaps the most difficult to define. “Justice” names a relation of equivalence between two otherwise unrelated actions or things. Necessarily comparing -- “weighing” or “taking the measure” – of one “side” of a relation it has itself to invent, the identity of “justice” remains two-sided or equivocal in more than one literal sense. As first demonstrated in Plato’s Republic, any attempt to define the identity of “justice” – most important of all “Ideas” according to the inventor of these, and with them, philosophy itself -- must engage not only separate identities but distinct semantic fields: the ideational or theoretical and the concrete or practical. The thesis of this paper is that, in posing the question of the definition of “justice,” Socrates not only opens up the semantic division within language between the abstract and the concrete, but transforms a dialectical dialogue that might have instead come to be entitled Δικαίoσύνη into the hypothetical account of a mechanically synched (or “ad-justed”) state. There will also be brief related discussions of Kant, Schiller, Hegel, Arendt and J. L. Austin."
Santa Fe, NM
Meem Library has been given permission to make this item available online.