or injustice of an action is a thing intrinsically peculiar and distinct from

Or injustice of an action is a thing intrinsically

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or injustice of an action is a thing intrinsically peculiar, and distinct from all its other qualities, or only a combination of certain of those qualities, presented under a peculiar aspect. For the purpose of this inquiry, it is practically important to consider whether the feeling itself, of justice and injustice, is sui generis like our sensations of colour and taste, or a derivative feeling, formed by a com bination of others. And this it is the more essential to examine, as people are in general willing enough to allow, that objectively the dictates of justice coin cide with a part of the field of General Expediency ; but inasmuch as the subjective mental feeling of Justice is different from that which commonly attaches to simple expediency, and, except in extreme cases of the latter, is far more imperative in its demands, people find it difficult to see, in Justice, only a par ticular kind or branch of general utility, and think that its superior binding force requires a totally dif ferent origin. To throw light upon this question, it is necessary
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64 UTILITARIANISM. to attempt to ascertain what is the distinguishing character of justice, or of injustice : what is the quality, or whether there is any quality, attributed in common to all modes of conduct designated as unjust (for justice, like many other moral attributes, is best defined by its opposite), and distinguishing them from such modes of conduct as are disapproved, but with out having that particular epithet of disapprobation applied to them. If, in everything which men are ac customed to characterize as just or unjust, some one common attribute or collection of attributes is always present, we may judge whether this particular attri bute or combination of attributes would be capable of gathering round it a sentiment of that peculiar charac ter and intensity by virtue of the general laws of our emotional constitution, or whether the sentiment is inexplicable, and requires to be regarded as a special provision of Nature. If we find the former to be the case, we shall, in resolving this question, have resolved also the main problem : if the latter, we shall have to seek for some other mode of investigating it. To find the common attributes of a variety of objects, it is necessary to begin by surveying the objects themselves in the concrete. Let us therefore advert successively to the various modes of action, and arrangements of human affairs, which are classed, by universal or widely spread opinion, as Just or as Unjust. The things well known to excite the senti ments associated with those names, are of a very multifarious character. I shall pass them rapidly in review, without studying any particular arrangement. In the first place, it is mostly considered unjust to
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HOW CONNECTED WITH JUSTICE. 65 deprive any one of his personal liberty, his property, or any other thing which belongs to him by law.
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