What are the Types of Justice? Types of Justice

What are the Types of Justice? Types of Justice

June 28, 2021 Off By Felso

When we say types of justice or types of justice, we are talking about different views and different conceptions of justice. In this context, the first distinction is the one made by Aristotle. The distinction between distributive justice, which he associates with the concept of equality, and compensatory justice, which he associates with the concept of right, is at the basis of the theoretical discussions that followed. The distinction between classical liberalism’s “rule justice” and “justice as fairness” theory is basically based on this distinction made by Aristotle in his “Nicomachus Ethics”.

The concept of justice, which finds its place in the TDK as rights and compliance with the law, observing the right and giving everyone his or her own, is actually one of the most difficult concepts to define. As it can be understood both individually and publicly, it has also been a basic concept in legal, political, economic and moral fields. Therefore, it is very difficult to make a holistic definition of justice.

The handling of justice in political philosophy will be under the heading of social justice and economic justice. So, is social and economic justice a type of justice? To understand this, it is first necessary to consider the types of justice.

The two types of justice, which Aristotle defines as distributive justice and compensatory justice, are the first distinctions that appear before us, and they are also the basis of the procedural justice and justice as fairness that follow.


According to this, distributive justice is the distribution of glory, honor, title and wealth according to everyone’s ability and status in society. The theory of justice as fairness, defined by Rawls, who brought the social justice debate to the agenda again in the 20th century, is also similar to the distributive justice type.

With the theory of justice as fairness, Rawls’ aim is to realize the fair distribution of income, value and wealth, taking into account individual differences. Only in this way does a theory of justice become moral and universal.

Equalizing justice, which Aristotle defines mostly through crime and punishment, is based on equal treatment of the parties without considering any individual differences. Here, the rule or procedural justice that is not directed to a specific subject, which is the basis of classical liberalism, can also be based on compensatory justice.

Related topics:

What is distributive justice?
What is compensatory or corrective justice?
What is rule justice or procedural justice?
What is justice as fairness?

Compiled by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology Lecture Notes for Grade 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” and “Introduction to Sociology” (Ömer YILDIRIM); Other Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM)