The paper proposes a reflection on the Greek concept of epieikeia, traditionally translated with equity, fairness or, in some particular contexts, leniency. The aim is to show that this concept allows us to focus on some important questions in the contemporary philosophical debate such as the question concerning the relationship between a general rule and a particular case, or the question about the problematic relationship between law and justice. The first step is a reconstruction of the meaning of the concept in the pre-Aristotelian tradition. The second part of the article focuses on epieikeia in Aristotelian thought, taking into account not only the systematic treatment but also the non-technical contexts. In this way, we can pursue a twofold aim: 1. to show the substantial continuity between Aristotle and the earlier tradition; 2. to show the internal coherence of the Aristotelian notion. Thanks to this reading, we can conclude that for Aristotle epieikeia is a complex mix of intellectual, moral and relational qualities. The last part of the paper is devoted to an example from Sophocles’ Antigone. More precisely, we focus on a minor character of the tragedy, Haemon, as a good example of epieikes in the sense described above.
|Number of pages||34|
|Volume||N. 9 (2009)|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|