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[3] But the just in private transactions, although it is the equal in a sense (and the unjust the unequal), is not the equal according to geometrical but according to arithmetical proportion.1 For it makes no difference2 whether a good man has defrauded a bad man or a bad one a good one, nor whether it is a good or a bad man that has committed adultery; the law looks only at the nature of damage, treating the parties as equal, and merely asking whether one has done and the other suffered injustice, whether one inflicted and the other has sustained damage.

1 That is, two pairs of terms (e.g. 1, 3; 7, 9), of which the second term exceeds the first by the same amount as the fourth exceeds the third. We do not call this a proportion at all, but, if also the third term exceeds the second by the same amount (e.g. 1, 3, 5, 7), an arithmetical progression.

2 For Corrective Justice the merits of the parties are immaterial.

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