Plato on Justice and Injustice In The Republic, Plato attempts to demonstrate through the character and discourse of Socrates that justice is better than justice is the good which men must strive for, regardless of whether they could be unjust and still be rewarded. His method is to use dialectic, the asking and answering of questions which led the hearer from one point to another, supposedly with irrefutable logic by obtaining agreement to each point before going on to the next, and so building an argument. Although Socrates returns time and again to the concept of justice in his discourse on the perfect city-state, much of it seems off the original subject. One of his main points, however, is that goodness is doing what is best for the common, greater good rather than for individual happiness.
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Glaucon argued that people do not want anyone to obstruct their unceasing desire for everything and only act in such a way that they avoid unjust treatment. Anyone who becomes a possessor of that ring can hardly resist the temptation of becoming like a god among others.
He or she, unrestrained by justice, will use the ring to satisfy his desires for everything. On the contrary, Socrates pointed out that justice, both in itself and what it brings is good while injustice, even unnoticed, is injurious.
Thus, to confute the impressive challenge of Glaucon, Socrates it is imperative to understand the essence of justice before one can really know whether justice is good in itself or it is good due to the things which come from it. However, this concept of reward and punishment has lost its credibility during the late period of the fifth century.
As people came to observe that most unjust men flourish as good citizens continue to suffer hardships and trials, they denounced the pre-conceived notion that rewards are given to the good doer while punishments are inflicted to the unjust. Consequently, as democracy in the Athenian society evolves, few Athens can hardly see to give importance on the afterlife and the questions on the essence of justice became a great controversy.
This controversy was exacerbated by the Sophists who act as hired tutors for wealthy students. Sophists denied the existence of the standards or objective truth concerning right and wrong. They rather treated morality and law as the bases of truth. For instance, Antiphon publicly declared that one must choose to be unjust for it is an advantage.
Hence, Plato decided to defend justice against the Sophistic challenge. The Argumentation Thrasymachus claimed that justice is merely an advantage of the stronger citizens.
In Book I, he argued that the societal norms and mores are merely conventions which serve as constraints for those who abide with them while others who ignore them are benefited. Whereas the unjust people gain power, become strong and rulers in the society, the weak conform to the justice which places them in a disadvantaged position.
Thus, if Thrasymachus is impeccable with his notions, truth about justice is merely imposed by rulers. This gave a great task to Socrates to assert that justice is both good and desirable and it is more than conventions; rather, it is connected to the standards of morality and it is our advantage to adhere with it.
Some of these ideas were rejected for they inaccurately described justice. Hence, in the end, the argumentation does not only lead to what justice is but also defined what it is not. By analogy, the conception of justice was compared to the political structure of the city and the components of an individual.
On the other hand, justice results when the three components of the soul function in a graceful manner. Thus, as the individual parts of the soul and the city work properly, the resulting harmony is excellence in their function.
This resulting excellence then is justice. In the case that one of their integral parts does not function well, the entity or individual suffers resulting to the lack of justice. In such way, the internal justice of the person is directly affected by the external world.
Moreover, Book I presented the conception of justice as an internal virtue and external quality with more complexities and implications.
The discussions of such can be directly seen from the propositions of Thrasymacus, Cephalus and Polemarcus which scrutinized by Socrates.Aside from “reason,” the concept of justice is a common topic in every dialogue of Plato like in “Parmenides” and “Timaeus”.
However, it is in “The Republic” that the concept of justice is intensively argued, scrutinized, and differentiated. The people’s tyrant: what Plato can teach us about Donald Trump. what Plato can teach us about Donald Trump. justice, human nature, education, virtue. Among the most important is a.
Essay: Plato on Justice and Injustice. Although Socrates returns time and again to the concept of justice in his discourse on the perfect city-state, much of it seems off the original subject. One of his main points, however, is that goodness is doing what is best for the common, greater good rather than for individual happiness.
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