Different from the modern conception of justice in the legal sense, the Stoics refer it more to what would be moral in our dealings with others by treating others fairly and doing the right thing.
As Marcus Aurelius said: Do the right thing, the rest doesn’t matter.
Thus, it is a much more broader concept of social virtue, encompassing kindness, benevolence and goodwill toward others.
The theme of the Stoic hero or wise man who protects weaker members of his herd recurs throughout the surviving Stoic literature. He will face a lion and endure pain and injury from his claws, to defend the weaker members, because their lives instinctively matter to him, as our family and kin, ultimately to love one’s brothers and sisters.
The Stoic Hierocles recommends that we imagine our relationship as consisting of a series of concentric circles. Naturally, we are at the centre, our family and friends are in the next ring, then our community, all humanity, and eventually loving the whole of Earth. We are to draw those in the outer circles closer to the centre.
Next up: Temperance
Enter your e-mail to get a notification of the latest posts.