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Single Idea 1845

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / B. Contract Ethics / 1. Contractarianism]

Full Idea

Justice has no independent existence; it results from mutual contracts, and establishes itself wherever there is a mutual engagement to guard against doing or sustaining mutual injury.

Gist of Idea

Justice has no independent existence, but arises entirely from keeping contracts


Epicurus (fragments/reports [c.289 BCE]), quoted by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 10.31.35

Book Reference

Diogenes Laertius: 'Diogenes Laertius', ed/tr. Yonge,C.D. [Henry G. Bohn 1853], p.478