Argument Of Justice In Plato's Book 1 Of The Republic

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In Book 1 of the republic, by Plato, we are introduced to two central figures in the argument of justice, Socrates and Thrasymachus. Thrasymachus claims that justice is the advantage of the stronger. Socrates then asks if his understanding, that what is beneficial to the stronger is just and must be beneficial to the weaker people, to which Thrasymachus replies that no, this is not so. He explains that justice is that which obtains the advantage of the stronger. He uses the example of ruling a city, where a government would change the rules and laws to best suit them, and as the rules are followed by those who act justly, the just would be acting in the favour of the stronger. Socrates objects to this and claims that humans will make mistake, as that is part of being human, and may…show more content…
Bothered by Socrates’ logic, Thrasymachus presents a revised version of his previous argument. Thrasymachus says that injustice is stronger than justice and that it most definitely results in a happier life. The example he uses (of a powerful dictator who is made happy through injustice is a reference to his earlier example that justice is used to the advantage of the stronger). Thrasymachus has not greatly changed the principle of his argument, just using alternate examples. Finally, Socrates claims that the unjust man is ignorant, weak and bad. Socrates argument is effective in the way that he does not shatter Thrasymachus’ argument without reason, he is given many examples that change his way of thinking. Thrasymachus is told to put his ‘set in stone’ ideas under different situations, and once he does, he can clearly see that he should not have been so stubborn, as soon as he does so, he can see that his arguments aren’t suited to all situations. By the end of the argument, Thrasymachus isn’t so much debating the definition of justice, as he is defining the required traits to be a ruler of
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