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What is the difference between distributive and commutative justice: A one minute guide

Updated Friday, 30th August 2019

What are distributive and commutative justice? What do the terms mean, and how are they different? We've got a really simple guide...

Aristotle said there were two types of justice Creative commons image Icon Tilemachos Efthimiadis under CC-BY-SA licence under Creative-Commons license
Distributive justice - how wealth work rights and so on are shared fairly within a community Creative commons image Icon Evan-Amos under CC-BY-SA licence under Creative-Commons license
Commutative justice - members of a group are treated equally - for example, by the law Copyright free  image Icon Copyright free: AJEL
But each society or group will have its own ideas about what is just or a right, and these ideas will be a source of debate and conflict between and within different groups in society Creative commons image Icon Public domain image under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license

This basic explanation of how Aritsototle's concepts of distributive justice and commutative justice are different is based on part of the free course Rights & Justice in International Relations, where the ideas are discussed in greater depth.


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