Create a scenario pertaining to the moral virtue of justice, specifically as pertains to the distribution of the good of accurate information. Imagine a person, company, or agency that that gives out inaccurate information. According to the doctrine of the mean, why would Aristotle be opposed to such actions? What might the discussion of righting wrongs of inaccurate information be like?

Aristotle would likely oppose the distribution of inaccurate information because it’s an example of inequality. The distributors of the inaccurate information have too much, and the people have too little. They don’t know what the spreaders of the false information know. To make the situation equal or just, the judge could use what Aristotle calls rectificatory. The judge can impose a penalty to rectify the unequal distribution of pain and suffering that the misinformation produced.

Expert Answers

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You could reason Aristotle would oppose a company, a person, or an agency that gives out inaccurate information because, according to Aristotle, such an action ”violates the proportion.” Remember, according to Aristotle, the person who acts unjustly has “too much” while the person who is “unjustly treated” has “too little.”

Dispensing misinformation would also seem to counter Aristotle's idea of the “mean” and “moral virtue.” Aristotle likely wouldn't considering relaying false information as an example of “living well and doing well.”

Let’s create a specific example now. There is a company called the Oatmeal Cookie Company. They have information that their cookies cause stomach aches. They withhold this information because they want people to continue to buy their cookies. You could say the Oatmeal Cookie Company has too much information and the consumers have too little. The company knows something that the consumers do not.

About such a scenario, Aristotle might say an “inequality” has been created. He might also say “the suffering and the action have been unequally distributed.” The Oatmeal Cookie Company could avoid suffering because they knew their cookies caused stomach aches. The regular consumer, lacking this knowledge, had to continue to suffer.

To rectify the unequal distribution, Aristotle might pivot to the rectificatory. The rectificatory is when the judge tries to rectify the injustice by enforcing a penalty on the unjust actors that makes the distribution of pain and suffering more equal.

Maybe the judge will take away money from the Oatmeal Cookie Company and give it to the people who suffered because of the false information. Perhaps the judge will make the Oatmeal Cookie Company eat the cookies themselves so that they, too, will suffer stomach aches. There are many possibilities.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on October 30, 2020
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