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Is Justice Binary?: Absolute and Relative Justice in the Teachings of Said Nursi

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Does absolute justice exist or not? It may be argued that where absolute justice is impossible to realise, it is only reasonable to expect that the concept of partial or relative justice be invoked. Nursi defines justice either in terms of absolute as opposed to relative, or positive as opposed to negative. In this paper, we explore the binary nature of Nursi’s approach to justice, with the aim of elucidating those areas of his thought which have not hitherto been researched. Focusing on the dichotomous nature of justice in Nursian thought may help to sharpen our understanding of existing theories of justice at the very least; it may even force us to rethink our prejudices and give us greater understanding of the concept of justice itself. Particular focus will be on the implications of human free-will for the concept of justice, both in its ‘relative’ and ‘absolute’ state. The paper raises questions about the possibility of absolute justice.

Affiliations: 1: University of Durham


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