The Philological Comparison of Semantic Denotation of “Justice” in Western and Islamic Political Philosophies

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD Student in Political Sciences, Political Studies of Islamic Revolution, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran

2 PhD in Educating the Teachings of Islamic Revolution, University of Islamic Sciences, Qom, Iran

3 Assistant Professor in Faculty of Economics, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran; Lyon University, Paris, France


The subject of the present article is the linguistic comparison of terms whose semantic foundation is linked with political ‘justice’, and the Muslim and European thinkers have used them in their opinions. This study aims at representing the lexical differences considered in ‘coinage’ and ‘denotation’ of any of these terms, making the status and structure of justice different in any semantic world. Paying attention to this fact can facilitate, and make precise, our understanding of the norms focused on justice as applied by the thinkers in this sphere. The main question is what the distinction between the items of the vocabulary network with semantic centrality of justice is. To answer, by relying on the philology method as a branch of interpretive methodology, we investigated the historical denotation of three words of ‘justice’, ‘fairness’ and ‘equality’ and explained the fundamental difference of the perception of the Muslim thinkers of ‘justice’, compared to the semantic world of western thinkers. The results showed that paradigmatic transitions are determinant in our perception of justice. This transition in the West has led the abstract perception of justice to the strategic level and practical equations. However, in spite of the change in political paradigms in the Islamic world and the alteration and evolution of the Muslims’ philosophical system, the Muslim theorists have neglected the social extension of this fundamental concept.


Main Subjects

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