What are some everyday unfair things

Knowledge pool
Knietzsche, the smallest philosopher in the world

  • For example, laws regulate fairer distribution; Rights: WDR

Respond to injustice

Anger and violence are not good advisors if you feel you have been treated unfairly. Knietzsche goes into this in the film. But how can you react better? The children prepare role plays in small groups (worksheet 3 "role play"). They think of a situation in which a child has been treated unfairly and how to react wisely to it. The situations are played out in class and then discussed. Can the other students think of other solutions?

Knietzsche says in the film: "... You freak out with anger because you feel lousy and at your mercy. And maybe planning revenge. This is the moment when injustice tries to spread. This is how wars arise, for example is wasted energy. " What do the students think? Is revenge counterproductive and violence wasted energy?

These considerations lead on to the topic of "justice in society". Knietzsche explained in the film that people created laws to make society more just: citizens pay taxes so that, for example, people in need can be supported. He also refers to a philosophical thought experiment by John Ralws, who developed a theory of justice: What principles would people give themselves if no one knew their status in society? Knietzsche translated it: "If you didn't know in which body you woke up in the morning when you fell asleep, then people would automatically only make fair laws and make sure that everyone is doing as well as possible." The pupils use worksheet 4 to do the thought experiment and come up with reasons why Knietzsche is right or not. In which body could you wake up, for example? Would you then need different protection or different support than today? It makes sense to start a phase beforehand in which the children consider: In which body could they wake up, for example, and which laws would they then pass? Would the world be fairer then? Would it be better for everyone then? This can be done as brainstorming in class or in small groups.

Knietzsche sums up his conclusion as follows: "It usually becomes fair if you think at least as much of others as you think of yourself."

If you want to find out more about Rawls's theory of justice, read "I think therefore I am" in the philosophy knowledge pool, keyword performance.

Link: Philosophy Knowledge Pool, information sheet on John Rawls Theory of Justice