Revitalizing Aristotle's Doctrine of Equity
Journal of Law, Culture and the Humanities, Vol. 4, p. 352, 2008
31 Pages Posted: 25 May 2006 Last revised: 14 Nov 2012
Date Written: July 16, 2012
This article argues for the contemporary relevance of Aristotle's doctrine of equity. Too often, similar arguments make this doctrine relevant by abstracting from the details of Aristotle's position or, conversely, fixating on details without due consideration of the epochal gap that separates us from Aristotle. After an initial survey of these limited approaches, the article proceeds to a more adequate account of Aristotle's doctrine of equity with the help of Heidegger. In particular, what Heidegger offers is a nuanced argument as to why Aristotle's manifest absorption in the concrete details of his face-to-face society is not a limitation to his doctrine, but a strength. We, no less than Aristotle, are enmeshed in logos, in a background ordering not at the command of our will, but we have a greater difficulty seeing this. Thus, where equity for Aristotle above all required expert engagement with logos, equity bids us first to acknowledge that the logos is.
Keywords: Aristotle, equity, epieikeia, arbitration, Heidegger, rhetoric
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