Plato Essay On The Republic

Thrasymachus erupts when he has had his fill of this conversation (336a–b), and he challenges the assumption that it is good to be just.On Thrasymachus’ view (see especially 343c–344c), justice is conventionally established by the strong, in order that the weak will serve the interests of the strong.Even if he successfully maintains that acting justly is identical to being happy, he might think that there are circumstances in which no just person could act justly and thus be happy.

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In Books Five through Seven, he addresses this challenge, arguing (in effect) that the just city and the just human being as he has sketched them are in fact good and are in principle possible.

After this long digression, Socrates in Books Eight and Nine finally delivers three “proofs” that it is always better to be just than unjust.

Moreover, the indictment of the poets involves a wide-ranging discussion of art.

This article, however, focuses on the ethics and politics of Plato’s says about knowledge and its objects, see Plato: middle period metaphysics and epistemology, and for more about the discussion of the poets, see Plato: rhetoric and poetry.

This article attempts to provide a constructive guide to the main issues of ethics and politics in the ’s question first emerges in the figure of Cephalus.

After Socrates asks his host what it is like being old (328d–e) and rich (330d)—rather rude, we might think—Cephalus says that the best thing about wealth is that it can save us from being unjust and thus smooth the way for an agreeable afterlife (330d–331b).Socrates takes the basic challenge to concern how justice relates to the just person’s objective success or happiness (Greek ).In Book One, he argued that justice, as a virtue, makes the soul perform its function well and that a person who lives well is “blessed and happy” (352d–354a, quoting 354a1).So Socrates must persuade them that the just person who is terrifically unfortunate and scorned lives a better life than the unjust person who is so successful that he is unfairly rewarded as if he were perfectly just (see 360d–361d).The challenge that Glaucon and Adeimantus present has baffled modern readers who are accustomed to carving up ethics into deontologies that articulate a theory of what is right independent of what is good and consequentialisms that define what is right in terms of what promotes the good (Foster 1937, Mabbott 1937, cf. The insistence that justice be praised “itself by itself” has suggested to some that Socrates will be offering a deontological account of justice.Given this perspective, Socrates has to show that smartly pursuing one’s happiness favors being just (which requires always acting justly) over being unjust (which tolerates temptation to injustice and worse), apart from the consequences that attend to the appearance of being just or unjust.But he does not have to show that being just or acting justly happiness.They want to be shown that most people are wrong, that justice is worth choosing for its own sake.More than that, Glaucon and Adeimantus want to be shown that justice is worth choosing better to be just.Then, because Socrates wants not only to show that it is always better to be just but also to convince Glaucon and Adeimantus of this point, and because Socrates’ proofs are opposed by the teachings of poets, he bolsters his case in Book Ten by indicting the poets’ claims to represent the truth and by offering a new myth that is consonant with his proofs.As this overview makes clear, the center of Plato’s is a contribution to ethics: a discussion of what the virtue justice is and why a person should be just.


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