Some people think social justice is a twentieth century invention of left-leaning thinkers, but this starts the history of social justice midstream. To understand its true meaning, we must look farther back to its real historical origins. The first known use of the phrase “social justice” was by a Jesuit Thomist, Luigi Taparelli, in his multivolume work A Theoretical Treatise on Natural Law Resting on Fact published between 1840 and 1843. This lecture emphasizes two arguments that Taparelli highlighted by coining the new phrase “social justice”: first, human beings are social by nature and belong to many societies and, second, they have natural duties to others in justice.

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