Please enter verification code
A Naturalistic Understanding of Justice Under Pandemic
Journal of Political Science and International Relations
Volume 3, Issue 3, September 2020, Pages: 84-91
Received: Aug. 31, 2020; Accepted: Sep. 21, 2020; Published: Sep. 30, 2020
Views 190      Downloads 69
Jingtao Jiang, Research Centre of Medical Humanities, Zunyi Medical University, Zunyi, China
Article Tools
Follow on us
The coronavirus pandemic has sparked controversies over freedom, equality and democracy, some of which affirm the government's epidemic control measures and some deny them. Through the further analysis of the meaning of freedom, equality and democracy, we demonstrate that the epidemic prevention and control measures are in line with positive freedom, proportional equality and republican democracy, but are contrary to negative freedom, absolute equality and liberal democracy. Further evaluation involves the criterion of justice. The traditional normative justice standard is the axiom system constructed by the rational man, but the problem is that the rational man here is not a real man. This paper advocates a kind of naturalistic standard of justice based on the needs and satisfactions of human being's survival, development and balance. According to this view of justice, freedom is the ability and degree of a living system to meet its internal needs. The pursuit of freedom is the instinctive response of a living system to the law of survival and development, and therefore is just. Equality reflects the comparison of the influence of one living system with another living system. Absolute equality with equal influence does not exist, and the enforcement of such equality only hinders the strong and indulges the weak, which is not in line with the law of survival and development of the life system and is therefore unjust. Only the proportional distribution according to the actual influence of living systems is fair, conducive to the survival and development of living systems, and therefore just. Democracy reflects the comparison of influence between the middle class that composed of lots of ordinary people, and the upper class that composed of a few elites,in one same group of living systems. The middle class overpowers the upper class and the upper class overpowers the middle class, which are both bad for the survival and development of living systems and therefore unjust. Only when the middle class and the upper class have equal influence or simply eliminate the classes can they unite and represent the public will of all members. Such a republican system is conducive to the survival and development of the living systems and thus is just.
Coronavirus Pandemic, Normative Justice, Naturalistic Justice
To cite this article
Jingtao Jiang, A Naturalistic Understanding of Justice Under Pandemic, Journal of Political Science and International Relations. Vol. 3, No. 3, 2020, pp. 84-91. doi: 10.11648/j.jpsir.20200303.15
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Tianyu Feng et al., 2020, The appeal of ten professors in wuhan. [On-line]. Available: (accessed May 10, 2020).
Agamben, G. 2020. Lo stato d'eccezione provocato da un'emergenza immotivata. [On-line]. Available: (accessed May 10, 2020).
Latour, B. 2020. Is this a dress rehearsal? [On-line]. Available: May 10, 2020).
Zizek, S. 2020. Is barbarism with a human face our fate? [On-line]. Available: May 10, 2020).
Friedman, T. L. 2020. Finding the 'common Good' in a pandemic. [On-line]. Available: (accessed May 10, 2020).
Fukuyama, F. 2020. The thing that determines a country's resistance to the coronavirus [On-line]. Available: (accessed May 10, 2020).
Harvey, D. 2020. We need a collective response to the collective dilemma of coronavirus. [On-line]. Available: (accessed May 10, 2020).
Butler, J. 2020. Capitalism has its limits. [On-line]. Available: (accessed May 10, 2020).
Berlin, I. Liberty: Incorporating Four Essays on Liberty. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002, P178.
Rawls, J. A Theory of Justice. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1971, p60, p3, p118.
Dworkin, R. (1981). What is equality? Part 2: equality of resources. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 10 (4): 283-345.
Aristotle, and Benjamin Jowett. 1999. Politics. Kitchener, Ont: Batoche Books, 1999, p109.
Locke, J. 1690. Two Treatises of Government. [On-line]. Available: (accessed May 10, 2020). p161, p146.
Rousseau, J. 1762. The Social Contract. [On-line]. Available: (accessed May 10, 2020). p7, p6.
Whitehead, A. N. Science and the Modern World. New York: The New American Library, 1948, p106, p96.
Laszlo, E. (1973). A systems philosophy of human values. Behavioral Science, 18 (4): 250-259.
Taylor, P. Respect for Nature, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986, pp121-122.
Lepold, A. A Sand Country Almanac. New York: Oxford University Press, 1966, pp224-225.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186