Preview Response

Justice / Social Sciences

Emily Messer

Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Evolution, Variation, and Ontogeny of Learning (EVO-Learn) Laboratory, Department of Psychology, University of Texas, Austin


The theme of the brief on human interaction at the core of acting justly connects with my work studying learning and teaching in different human populations. Largely these are NON-WEIRD (Western Educated Industrialised, Rich, & Democratic) societies with varying levels of interactions with others across the world. I’m interested in cross-cultural differences with regards to different societies’ approaches to justice.

While the brief focuses on first order justice, with Ulpian’s definition preferred, Aristotle’s definition explaining justice as fairness also presents some interesting insights, (despite all cases of injustice not always consisting of inequitable distributions of benefits or burdens). I’m interested in how children come to understand justice. For instance, the development of sharing and fairness in children, how children learn right from wrong, and how their social group can impact upon this learning and acceptance.

Although not touched upon in this review brief, I also wondered about animal rights and welfare within this theme, too. How potentially could the human right to justice and to being treated in a particular way impact on/with how animals are treated?