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Posts Tagged ‘justice’

Jason Jewell on Justice versus Social Justice

In Humanities, Justice, Libertarianism, Philosophy, Western Philosophy on October 23, 2019 at 6:45 am

The 13 Virtues of Benjamin Franklin

In America, American History, Arts & Letters, Books, Ethics, History, Humanities, Literature, Western Civilization on June 26, 2013 at 8:49 am

Benjamin Franklin

In his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin listed 13 virtues by which he sought to live.  Here they are:

1.  TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

2.  SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

3.  ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

4.  RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

5.  FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.

6.  INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

7.  SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

8.  JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

9.  MODERATION. Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10.  CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.

11.  TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

12.  CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.

13.  HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Franklin was a great man, even if he fell far short of his own high standards.  Lists like these can, I think, help one to improve oneself.  See my reading list for this year.

Book Note: Poetic Justice and Legal Fictions, by Jonathan Kertzer

In Arts & Letters, Book Reviews, Humanities, Jurisprudence, Justice, Law, Law-and-Literature, Literary Theory & Criticism, Literature, Writing on September 28, 2012 at 8:45 am

Allen Mendenhall

The following excerpt first appeared as part of the Routledge Annotated Bibliography of English Studies series.

This book is a compilation of literary essays that at first blush seem to have no through line save for an attention to law in the abstract.  Nevertheless, each chapter is connected by the theme of justice and the relation of language to both law and literature.

Á la Flaubert, the book treats justice as the supreme literary value, and it distinguishes between the justice of literature and the literariness of justice.  Language has its own jurisdiction and can be used judiciously, and the author seems to believe that signifiers can represent the phenomenal world in ways that have a practical bearing in law.  By the same token, language itself is regulated by laws even as it enacts laws.  The author discusses literary justice as a poetic expression of the material world.

The phrase “poetic justice” refers to the possibility that poetry might offer something better than truth in order to bring about justice; the truly poetic is just.  Genre and jurisdiction resemble one another in their conceptual claims to authority or law.

Beginning with judicial discourse in comedies, more specifically with the operas of Gilbert and Sullivan, the book moves through Nietzsche, Baudrillard, Disgrace, Huckleberry Finn, The African Queen, Billy Budd, the poetry of Wallace Stevens, Anil’s Ghost, and other works.  The book therefore does not limit itself to discussion of a particular historical period, a fixed geography, or a specific genre.  Rather, it weaves together a wide range of novelists, theorists, and historical figures, many of whom are unlikely to be categorized together were it not for their interests (some longstanding, some fleeting) in law.

What allows the book to read as a unified whole is its analysis at the intersections of justice, law, and literary forms.

Power Made Perfect in Weakness

In Art, Arts & Letters, Communication, Creative Writing, Emerson, Essays, Humanities, Law, Literature, Poetry, Shakespeare, Teaching on August 28, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Allen Mendenhall

I wrote the following piece about three weeks ago, while I was vacationing in Destin, Florida, with my family.

If we expect others to rely on our fairness and justice we must show that we rely on their fairness and justice.

Calvin Coolidge

My wife and I are on vacation in Florida.  Yesterday morning, over a cup of coffee and a doughnut, sitting on the balcony and reading the newspaper amid sounds of seagulls and the grating roll of morning waves, I noted that one Michael Stone—a blind man, XTERRA champion, and 10-time Ironman triathlete who recently published a book, Eye Envy—will speak at the University of North Florida on August 13.  I haven’t read Stone’s book, but it’s apparently a resource not only for those suffering from vision-loss any degenerative disease.

Stone began to lose his sight in 2004.  His blindness is a result of a rare disease called cone-rod dystrophy.  Despite his handicap, he has accomplished amazing things, but not without the help of others.  During races, he relies on guides, who shout directions and warnings to him.

I’ll never understand why God makes some people handicapped and others not, why some must rely on others, and some must be relied on.  Someday and for a time, everyone relies on someone or something and is relied on by someone or something.      Read the rest of this entry »

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