Reflections on the Common Concept of Justice
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Though conclusive evidence for the date of this work, in French, is lacking, it is obviously in Leibniz’s courtly style, and the allusion to the three queens (p. 570) in whom the Electress Sophia was directly interested suggests that it was written for her at some time between the determination of the Hanoverian succession to the English throne and the death of the Queen of Prussia in 1705. Not only is it a clear development of Leibniz’s theory of justice and its application to government, but it contains clues to his theory of values, proposals for scientific co-operation, and a popular statement of his theodicy. His indictment of slavery is more vigorous than in No. 44, IV, and earlier writings, and Whig principles find expression in his justification of the people’s right to resist the sovereign in extraordinary cases.
KeywordsDistributive Justice Great Good Formal Reason Philosophical Paper Great Evil
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