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Fairness - Resources

Fairness is a central virtue both for individuals and for social institutions. Fairness is characterized by impartiality (a lack of favoritism). When people exhibit fairness, they consistently apply standards and rules to everyone and insist that others do the same, regardless of people's power or prestige, and whatever the consequences for the self or a preferred group. Fairness is thus an essential element of justice.

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  • O'Connor, David K. (1988). Aristotelian justice as a personal virtue. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 13(1): 417-427.
  • Foot, Philippa. (1977). Virtues and Vices. In Daniel Statman (ed.), Virtue Ethics: A Critical Reader, pp. 163-177. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.
  • Solomon, Robert C. (1995). A passion for justice: Emotions and the origins of the social contract. Rowman & Littlefield.
  • LeBar, Mark (2018).   Justice (The Virtues).  New York: Oxford University Press.



  • Lerner, Melvin J. (1977). The justice motive: Some hypotheses as to its origins and forms. Journal of Personality 45(1), 1-52.
  • Lerner, Melvin J. (1987). Integrating social and psychological rules of entitlement. In R. Vermunt & H. Steensma (eds.), Social justice in human relations, 1, 13-32. New York: Plenum Press.
  • Lerner, Melvin J. and Sally C. Lerner. (1978). The Justice Motive in Social Behavior: Adapting to Times of Scarcity and Change. New York: Plenum Press.
  • Mikula, Gerold, and Michael Wenzel. (2000). Justice and social conflict. International Journal of Psychology 35(2), 126-135.




  • John Templeton Foundation. (2006). Justice. In Character: A Journal of Everyday Virtues. Fall.