Justice and Utility in Classical Utilitarianism and among the Sokoto Caliphate Scholars
sapientia journal vol 18




Utilitarianism enables increasing conceptions of justice and morality that differed from those which previously existed. Expletory justice and attributive justice are categories of justice which might be seen as having a connection with the Epicurean tradition. Expletory justice is distributive in that a state distributed various rights which the individual held apart from and, if necessary, against other individuals. Attributive justice potentially opened up areas of social life to individual effort, satisfaction, and reward based on merit as a matter of justice to which the Aristotelian categories were indifferent. However, there arose a presumed conflict between justice and utility, which the utilitarians attempted to straighten. This forms the research problem of this paper in connection with the Sokoto Caliphate scholars' consideration of justice as one of the foundations of leadership, in the sense that the leader has to be fair and at the same time maintains law and order for general efficacy. Usingthedivinecommandtheoryofethics, the expletory and attributive utility of justice is explored. The objective here is to show how proficient the Sokoto caliphate scholars were at the period of their writings. Method employed is the hermeneutic analysis of the literature consulted. The finding of the paper is that the concerns of the Sokoto caliphate scholars show that justice is an ethical doctrine which benefits large number of the members of the state. The significance of this article lies in the promotion of the knowledge and ideals of the nineteenth century African scholars of the Nigerian area.