Friday, 4 May 2012


Justice is one of the major concepts in political philosophy that still lacks a univocal definition, yet it is a vital ingredient for the survival of man as a social being.
Indeed, justice has shaped the world but the question is how has man come to see the true meaning of this conception. Many hold that it is as a result of the complexities attached to the social being of mankind makes the term increasingly intricate and difficult to pin down because of mans cultural variation and linguistic usage.
It is therefore the aim of this piece is to take a critical look at the nature of justice and the role it has played in turning society around and shaping the world for the better.
The survival of the human race is predicated on the template of justice. This is true because a critical examination of the hypothetical state of nature as espoused by philosophers such as Hobbes and Locke shows that if not the coming together of wise few who championed for the coming together of the rest in some kind of social contract, man would have long gone into extinction because in the state of nature, life was short, harsh and brutish. It was a dog eat dog world.
In their coming together, they set the pace for the emergence of a civil society regulated by concepts such as Law and justice which brings among others natural justice, socio economic justice e.t.c
Human civilization through the ages have had one form of justice or the other ingrained in its culture and mode of existence from the primitive stage of man to contemporary times of the rule of law.
It is justice that coordinates all what man has and will be, therefore justice is the panacea to mans and solutions to mans miseries in the context of human social evolution.
As a result of human rationalization, the codification of our laws aims to achieve this (justice). Hence man design constitutions charters, treaties e.t.c. Again how far has all these workings of man faired in the light of the challenges man is faced with in the 21st century? Could one say that justice is a live experience in these modern times?
 However placed the argument is, justice truly has shaped the world. It has affected human psyche so much   that even our daily activities is geared toward attaining it. The most fundamental of it all is that justice has separated man from beast. The essence of our civilization is because of our gradual understanding of justice and our future will be determined by how much justice truly affects human social intercourse. Therefore, international organizations (the U.N), regional bodies and national governments must take urgent steps towards spreading the message on justice as a way of preventing wars and help the future challenges that await man in her match towards greatness.

Yek keme
Dept of philosophy, University of Lagos