the Republic, Socrates argues that justice ought to be valued both for its own sake and for the sake of its consequences (358a1–3). His interlocutors Glaucon and Adeimantus have reported a number of arguments to the effect that the value of justice lies purely in the rewards and reputation that are the usual consequence of being seen to be just, and have asked Socrates to say what justice is and to show that justice is always intrinsically better than is acting contrary to justice when doing so would win you more non-moral goods. Glaucon presents these arguments as renewing Thrasymachus’ Book 1 position that justice is “another’s good” (358b–c, cf. 343c), which Thrasymachus had associated with the claim that the rulers in any constitution frame
In Book 1 of the republic, by Plato, we are introduced to two central figures in the argument of justice, Socrates and Thrasymachus.
In Apology, Socrates faces possible execution as he stands trial in front of his fellow Athenian men. This jury of men must decide whether Socrates has acted impiously against the gods and if he has corrupted the youth of Athens. Socrates claims in his defense that he wants to live a private life, away from public affairs and teachings in Athens. He instead wants to focus on self-examination and learning truths from those in Athens through inquiry. Socrates argues that "a [man] who really fights for justice must lead a private, not a public, life if [he] is to survive for even a short time" (32a). He claims that this is how he has been able to live a long life in Athens and that he never meant any harm to the state. Socrates believes that for
Socrates believes that justice benefits the just, but also benefits the city (other people) too. He is faced with a seemingly simple choice, escape Athens or remain in prison and be sentenced to death. Socrates’ central argument against escaping his circumstances is twofold. First, Socrates argues that “one must never do wrong.” (49b) In other words, one should never do an injustice. And likewise, “one should never do wrong in return, nor do any man harm, no matter what he may have done to you.”(49d) It is from this argument that Socrates outlines why he must not escape, for it would be to wrong the city that made him. No matter what the city may have done to him, he must never act against it in retaliation. Socrates bases this view of justice on the worth of living a good life. “And is life worth living for us with that part of us corrupted by unjust actions” (47e) If we corrupt our soul with injustice, our life would not be worth living, therefore one must never commit an injustice. “When one has come to an agreement that is just with someone, one should fulfill it.”(49e) It is this agreement with the Laws that Socrates would be violating, if he were to
This claim that it is better to suffer injustice than commit injustice raises the question of why would any person want to receive injustice, but that is not Socrates argument. Socrates understands that receiving injustice is not something that is enviable, but when compared to committing injustice, suffering injustice is better because committing injustice is pitiable and unenviable. Socrates never fully explains his reasoning for this claim but it deals with this idea of getting back
What is justice? This is the crucial question that Plato attempts to answer in his dialogue, The Republic. He conjures up an allegory that justice can be found in a person, and a person can represent a city. Thus, his entire dialogue focuses on this ‘just’ city and the mechanics of how the city would operate. His dialogue covers a myriad of topics about justice in addition to the human soul, politics, goodness and truth. In his discussion over how the citizens should be educated and how to control their knowledge, the question of the ethical and realistic expectations of the city. However, the problem, or downfall, of Plato’s city is its foundation. A foundation of lies. Plato’s web of lies, falsehoods and manipulation make the entire city
In the Republic, Plato confers with other philosophers about the true definition of justice. Cephalus, Polemarchus, and Thrasymachus relay their theories on justice to Plato, when he inquires as to what justice is. Cephalus believes only speaking the truth and paying one’s debts is the correct definition of justice (The Republic, Book I). However, Plato refutes this with an example of a friend who has lost his wits and would be caused harm by repayment of a debt. This leads to Polemarchus’ view on justice, doing harm to one’s enemies and helping one’s friends. Plato contests this view on justice because he believes doing harm to anyone would be an injustice. This theory leads to their conclusion the just man is one who is useful. Thrasymachus refers to justice in an egoistical manner, saying “justice is in the interest of the stronger” (The Republic, Book I). He believes injustice is virtuous and wise and justice is vice and ignorance, but Socrates disagrees with this statement as believes the opposing view. As a result of continual rebuttals against their arguments,
Plato regarded justice as the true principle of social life. Plato in his day found a lot of evil in society. He saw unrighteousness rampant and injustice enthroned.
According to Socrates perspective, the democracy of Athens was corrupt and even though they courts were made in such a way that everyone was judged fairly, it wasn’t such because there were no rules or principles set forth. When a person was brought to court in the Athenian court and the person spoke against the jurors or offended them, he or she could be prosecuted based on that. In summary, judgment was passed based on emotion rather than on justice.
Socrates argues that a just soul and a just man will live well, and an unjust one badly. This argument consists of the following:
Failure during the Peloponnesian War caused Greeks to question democracy and traditional Greek values. Plato disagreed with the way the state was run, especially after Athens’ loss at war. He discusses the meaning of justice and outlines how the ideal state should be governed in The Republic. He believes that the ideal state should be governed by a class of guardian rulers, who were trained as philosopher-kings. These rulers are the only members of society who could understand the Form of the Good and would be able to rule justly and logically. The rest of society would be made up of the class of warriors and the class of producers. With each member of society performing his own duty according to his class, and with rulers embracing the true Forms, peace and cooperation would be
Knowledge is both good and clever, and per Socrates, because both knowledge and justice are the same in one regard they are the same in being both good and clever. Though Socrates and Thrasymachus agree to this it can be stated that the division fallacy and the no-sequitur fallacies were made. By closing that what’s right about one part of Socrates argument, it must be applied to all that are of the like. Moreover, though its agreed that both the premises are true, the conclusion does not necessarily follow. Applying these formal logic, it is affirmed that Socrates’ argument for justice being wiser than injustice is
Socrates explains that there is no way that an unjust act will make the actor of the unjust act better off. This seems like a specifically wrong in the sense that I can commit fraud and steal millions of dollars. The act itself is unjust, but it seems that I am in a better position than before preforming the unjust act. However, there is a sense that I am not better off as a person because I allow myself to preform unjust acts. It seems reasonable to assume
In Book IV of Plato’s Republic, Socrates and his peers come to the conclusion that a city is going to need people who have an understanding of what justice should be. Socrates at the end of Book IV can make the difference between individual, political, and social justice. He knows that individual and political justice is so much in common because they both weigh in heavy on truth, honor, and appetitive soul. That appetitive soul is an element that helps the secure the just community with love and support. This is where the society will have a closer connection to justice in general. This is where Socrates came to the conclusion that we all need to be under justice in our society. So, the first action that Socrates did was to make sure that he doesn’t disrespect his family, be disloyal to his friends, or commit a crime. And when the majority of a just society realizes that there are