Skip to main content

The Just

The essays in this book contain some of Paul Ricoeur’s most fascinating ruminations on the nature of justice and the law. His thoughts ranging across a number of topics and engaging the work of thinkers both classical and contemporary, Ricoeur offers a series of important reflections on the juridical and the philosophical concepts of right and the space between moral theory and politics.

192 pages | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 2000, 2003

Law and Legal Studies: Law and Society

Philosophy: Ethics, General Philosophy

Political Science: Political and Social Theory

Religion: Philosophy of Religion, Theology, and Ethics


“The novelties of this book are the analyses of different phases of judicial practice: hearing, judging, sanction, rehabilitation and pardon.  It is fascinating to read how Ricoeur analyses these with his hermeneutics of detours or hermeneutics of distanciation, attempting to do justice to both interpretation and argumentation, both punishment and pardon, and so on.”

Arto Laitinen | Radical Philosophy

“The essays assembled in <I>The Just<I> are at once essential readings for anyone concerned with the link between ethics, law, and politics and perfect complements to the seventh, eighth, and ninth studies contained in <I>Oneself as Another<I>. However, knowledge of Ricoeur’s earlier writings is not a prerequisite for understanding the content of these essays since he retains the style of a moderator by engaging the most powerful authors on justice available: Aristotle, Kant, Arendt, Rawls, Walzer, to name a few.”

Paul Gyllenhammer | Review of Metaphysics

“In essays on Rawls, Michael Walzer, and Ronald Dworkin, among American philosophers and Hannah Arendt and Luc Botanski among European theorists, Ricoeur sketches a distinctive position on questions of justice that straddles the liberal/communitarian divide common in the Anglo-American world. . . . [Ricoeur provides] a fresh perspective on current debates within his own interesting account of the structure of moral action.”--Georgia Warnke, <I>Ethics<I>

Georgia Warnke | Ethics

“In these essays, Ricoeur applies his hermeneutical theory of the capable person, articulated in the magisterial <I>Oneself as Another<I>, to the philosophy of law and justice, demonstrating once again the remarkable breadth of his research project.”

Michael Johnson | Journal of Religion

Table of Contents

Who Is the Subject of Rights?
The Concept of Responsibility: An Essay in Semantic Analysis
Is a Purely Procedural Theory of Justice Possible? John Rawls’s Theory of Justice
After Rawls’s Theory of Justice
The Plurality of Instances of Justice
Aesthetic Judgment and Political Judgment According to Hannah Arendt
Interpretation and/or Argumentation
The Act of Judging
Sanction, Rehabilitation, Pardon
Conscience and the Law: The Philosophical Stakes
Sources of Original Publication

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press