Plato's Concept Of Justice

1322 Words6 Pages
There are numerous theories based around the concept of Justice and what exactly it is. The following essay will answer the question what is justice, by giving a brief description of the different conceptions of justice. It will then go into more detail by focusing on Plato’s model of Justice. It will discuss the idea of Plato’s Just State and Plato’s Just Individual.
Justice is a concept which is present in every society. According to yourdictionary.com, justice is defined as ‘the use of power as appointed by law, honour or standards to support fair treatment and due reward’. Nowadays, we tend to think of justice in this way, as a system of law enforcement. The rules are set down as laws by the state and then they are enforced. It can differ
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Plato was a Greek Philosopher. He wrote a Socratic Dialogue around 380BC called ‘The Republic’. This is one of the most influential works of philosophy to date. His account of justice is split into two separate parts. Firstly he gives his description of his idea of justice in the state and then the individual. For Plato, justice is ‘justice is the ultimate virtue of both individuals and the social system’ (philosopypages.com) The idea of democracy was a ‘recipe for societal disaster’ in the view of Plato. This was because the idea of people’s right to rule themselves would allow individuals who were not principally rational to make important decisions. This to Plato was truly unjust. It would certainly force society into…show more content…
Whatever class an individual is placed into depends highly on their character. Each of these three classes has a different function. The first of the three classes are the guardians. The Guardians are the rulers of the cities. They are responsible for laws and governing the cities. They are selected at childhood to undertake difficult education and training. Throughout growing up, some of these people are removed because they do not have the ideal qualities of a guardian. According to Plato, one of the most evident qualities of a guardian is to have a ‘temperamental inclination toward philosophical thinking’ (philosophypages.com). The Guardians are selected from the second of the three classes, the Auxiliaries. The Auxiliaries are warriors. Their main responsibilities include protecting their city from attack and they must ensure that the third of the three classes, the Producers, obey the laws enforced by the Guardians. The Producers are the largest of the three classes in society. They include a lot of occupations like farmers etc. In Plato’s just state, the Producers have no influence on the rule of the city. The Producers focus on what they are best at to have a just
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