Ethical theories of justice and care are often presented in opposition to each other. Eleonore Stump argues that Aquinas’s moral theory has the resources to bring justice and care together. There is, however, a potential worry for her view raised by the ‘Confucian Puzzle’. The puzzle poses a moral dilemma between care and justice that serves as a test case for Stump’s picture. In this paper, I provide a brief overview of the justice and care debate along with the subsequent challenges that both positions face in order to situate Aquinas’s position as Stump defends it. Next, I present the Confucian Puzzle and consider how Aquinas might respond to it. Finally, given his response, I make two claims. First, the unifying virtue of charity enables Aquinas to resolve the tension between justice and care as it appears in the Confucian Puzzle. Second, Stump’s integration thesis only obtains given what Aquinas says about charity.
"The Confucian Puzzle: Justice and Care in Aquinas,"
Comparative Philosophy: Vol. 9:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarworks.sjsu.edu/comparativephilosophy/vol9/iss1/4