Past Event

Columbia Classical Civilization Seminar: Dhananjay Jagannathan

January 31, 2018
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Columbia University Faculty House

Dhananjay Jagannathan (Columbia University)

"Reciprocity and Justice in Aristotle and the Aristotelian Tradition"

My aim in this talk is to help rehabilitate Aristotle’s account of justice in the fifth book of the Nicomachean Ethics. The difficulty arises from the impression that the foundational taxonomy of justice introduced at the start is contradicted elsewhere in the book. Indeed, each of his two primary distinctions seems to be undermined, yielding two problems of coherence. As I will show, the idea of reciprocity is a pivot in the argument of the book, and when properly understood, reciprocity holds the key to dismissing both apparent problems of coherence. Along the way, I discuss the instructive misreadings of Aristotle's notion of reciprocity found in the work of Albert the Great and St Thomas Aquinas.



The evening will begin with drinks at 5:45 PM at the first-floor lounge of Faculty House, followed by dinner at 6:15 PM. Please email our rapporteur, Lien Van Geel ( by noon on Monday, October 15th, in order to make a dinner reservation. Note that the price of the meal is $30, payable only by check to "Columbia University." Professor Whittington's lecture will begin promptly at 7:30 PM.