Justice In Plato's The Republic

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Justice is often used interchangeably with fairness and has connotations to the divine or natural laws. However, within the ancient Greek text The Republic, by Plato, an in depth discussion concerning the origins and nature of justice take place. A significant contributor to the inquiry of Justice is Glaucon, who would argue that justice is simply a social construction. Secondly, Socrates brings forth the notion that justice as a state of harmony in which each part of the whole performs its allotted duty. Lastly, from The Philosophy of Human Rights, by Patrick Hayden, Cicero views justice within the concept of natural law.

Glaucon seeks an account of what the many believe justice to be, and what its origins are. He states that “justice—[is] …show more content…

The Ring of Gyges is a fictional ring that is able to render its wearer invisible. It is seemingly impossible to find any man of such virtue where “no one could be found, it would seem, of such adamantine temper as to persevere in justice and endure to refrain his hands from the possessions of others and not touch them, though he might with impunity take what he wished even from the marketplace, and enter into houses and lie with whom he pleased, and slay and loose from bonds whomsoever he would” (360b-c). Glaucon would argue that however virtuous someone may appear to be “that no one is just of his own will but only from constraint” (360c). Meaning that without consequence of action “the belief that justice is not his personal good, inasmuch as every man, when he supposes himself to have the power to do wrong, does wrong” (360b).

Socrates defines justice in a unique way, that it is not simply being honest and paying what is owed as Cephalus suggests; or as helping your friends and harming your enemies; and even as Glaucon would argue that justice is simply a social construction but, it is a form of …show more content…

That the virtues of the state or city are extrapolated and also exists within the soul. The virtue of wisdom corresponds with the rational part of the soul in which its role is to govern its counterparts; the spirited and appetitive parts of the soul. Secondly, courage is respective to spirit; its role is to obey the rational part in overseeing the appetitive, where the “spirit preserves in the midst of pains and pleasures the rule handed down by the reason” (442c). Lastly, the appetitive part of the soul is synonymous with the virtue of moderation, “it accepts that the rational part rules over the appetites” (441e-442d). With the identification of the parts of the soul and city, and the corresponding relation between each; injustice must “be a kind of civil war of these three principles, their meddlesomeness” (444b). In describing the opposite, justice must then be harmony within the soul where each part performs its respective role and does not interfere with another. Socrates’ justice is a response to Glaucon’s social construction of justice, in that justice cannot simply be reduced to a social contract created to avoid suffering injustice but is a convergence of many separate entities into the mean; whether it be within the state or the

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