“To Sir, With Love”?: On Grounding Protests in Skeptical Politics

by Brianne Donaldson The duty of tolerance is our finite homage to the abundance of inexhaustible novelty which is awaiting the future, and to the complexity of accomplished fact which exceeds our stretch of insight. —Alfred North Whitehead, Adventures of Ideas, 65 As visitors filled Discovery Green in Downtown Houston on Sunday for pre-Super Bowl festivities,…

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Imaginative Justice: Summary Questions

by Brianne Donaldson This essay is one of a 6-part series titled “What is Justice?”:First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Justice seems to be a relentless exercise of moral imagination mixed with some blue collar repair skills to adjust the scales of well-being when they have fallen askew. The five previous installments have attempted to map out a…

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A Hearse On the Highway

by Brianne Donaldson The enjoyment of power is fatal to the subtleties of life. Ruling classes degenerate by reason of their lazy indulgence in obvious gratifications. —A. N. Whitehead Adventures of Ideas, 106 Today an empty hearse cornered sharply onto the street ahead of me, speeding toward the highway ramp. I could not recall ever…

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Social Justice: Making Visible the Unseen

by Brianne Donaldson This essay is one of a 6-part series titled “What is Justice?”:First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Social justice puts flesh on the bones of Rawls’ principles of fairness discussed in the last segment, bringing individuals and communities to life. Bodies and voices insist their way into the frames of our consideration in spite of their…

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Othered Bodies, Social Contract Theory, and the Expansion of Justice

by Brianne Donaldson This essay is one of a 6-part series titled “What is Justice?”:First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth In the previous reflection, I examined several types of divine justice (i.e. transcendent or natural justice) that provide foundational social values that become central in a specific context. Notions of inherent dignity (who has it; who does not) and context-specific…

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Transcendent Justice or Human Judgment: Where Do The Norms of Justice Come From?

by Brianne Donaldson This essay is one of a 6-part series titled “What is Justice?”:First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth In the previous installment, I speculated on what is weighed in the two scales of justice. Most contemporary explanations suggest that the truths of society rest in one scale and fairness—or the attempts to fairly enact those truths—rests…

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The Scales of Justice: What Exactly Is Being Weighed?

by Brianne Donaldson This essay is one of a 6-part series titled “What is Justice?”:First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Lady Justice is the only cardinal virtue to be memorialized in stone and paint. While her cousins Temperance, Prudence, and Fortitude primarily inhabit the pages of myth, Lady Justice adorns classroom walls, lurks on album covers, and oversees courtrooms.…

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What is Justice? We Know But We Don’t Know

By Brianne Donaldson This essay is one of a 6-part series titled “What is Justice?”:First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Like the words “God” or “love,” the term “justice” does not explain, but must be explained. All three words, in fact, share something of the same fate, insofar as each is taken as foundational to human social life…

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