more from Pythagoras

Single Idea 5244

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / c. Justice]

Full Idea

Some even think that what is just is simple reciprocity, as the Pythagoreans maintained, because they defined justice simply as having done to one what one has done to another.

Gist of Idea

For Pythagoreans, justice is simply treating all people the same


report of Pythagoras (reports [c.530 BCE], 28) by Aristotle - Nicomachean Ethics 1132b22

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'Ethics (Nicomachean)', ed/tr. ThomsonJ A K/TredennickH [Penguin 1976], p.182

A Reaction

One wonders what Pythagoreans made of slavery. Aristotle argues that officials, for example, have superior rights. The Pythagorean idea makes fairness the central aspect of justice, and that must at least be partly right.