An analysis of socrates and polemarchus discussio of the idea of dikaisune in the republic by plato

Socrates answers that the exercise of justice will always benefit others and make them more just; why should we believe that?

thrasymachus justice

Of course, it is always possible for someone to question the truth of what one regards as a truism. Relatedly, of course, and as suggested above, the key problem with Socrates' argument is that it fails to appreciate that justice is something that can be present or absent in the case of any particular "craftsperson".

Plato republic summary pdf

The part of the Society whose role is to provide food, clothes and any other necessities the state requires. I did so but whether I succeeded in wiping some of the luster off of my colleague's image of Socrates, I cannot say. He is, after all, trying to argue against Polemarchus, not the world. There is no family among the guardians, another crude version of Max Weber's concept of bureaucracy as the state non-private concern. But if Polemarchus did accept the assumption as Annas claims which I don't think he does, for the assumption seems too strong to be identified with any parts of Socrates' argument , it would be irrelevant whether Socrates had provided any support for it. Basically then, Polemarchus guarantees that one only helps those who in fact help oneself and harms only those who harm oneself. Terence Irwin in Plato's Ethics Irwin rightly notes, among other things, that Socrates' assumption that to harm other people is to make them more unjust, is controversial. After Cephalus and Socrates agree that truth-telling and paying back debts is not a proper definition of justice, Polemarchus jumps in for his father and says that it is a proper definition, if, that is, the poet Simonides is to be believed. Ditto for stealing. Glaucon uses this story to argue that no man would be just if he had the opportunity of doing injustice with impunity. It begins with the dismissal of timocracy, a sort of authoritarian regime, not unlike a military dictatorship.

Both terms of this definition are quickly brought into question, and, enraged, Thrasymachus unleashes a long diatribe, asserting that injustice benefits the ruler absolutely.

How one behaves, or is supposed to behave, toward those one thinks are helpful but are not, we are never told.

Platos republic sparknotes

The poor overthrow the oligarchs and grant liberties and freedoms to citizens, creating a most variegated collection of peoples under a "supermarket" of constitutions. Thrasymachus consents to Socrates' assertion that an artist is someone who does his job well, and is a knower of some art, which allows him to complete the job well. Routledge, London. It is through this artificial rule of justice and law that the natural selfishness of man is chained. Unlimited self-assertion is not a source of strength for any group organized for common purpose, unlimited desire and claims lead to conflicts. Remember, this takes place long before the discovery of Viagra! Doing the right thing will always be a result of a proper assessment of the particularities of the case at hand. By the end, Thrasymachus and the other auditors are satisfied that the just man is happy, and the unjust is not. An unjust is superior to a just in character and intelligence.

Before going on, a word or two about the Greek term, dikaiosyne, translated as justice or right. It is only one's deliberate actions which do so.

why did plato write the republic

The soul which is more virtuous or in other words more just is also the happier soul. This is the main object of the philosopher's knowledge.

The republic plato summary

His life was almost solely dedicated to the private pursuit of knowledge. The rulers are people which posses the virtue of wisdom, they must not seek the glory and fame of being a ruler rather it should be perceived as the duty of those who are fitted to rule to take on the burden of ruling their state. At this juncture the new point of view is stated by Glaucon and he put Forward a form of what was later to be known as a social contract theory, arguing we are only moral because, it pays us or we have to be. In Book V Socrates addresses the question of "natural-ness" of and possibility for this city, concluding in Book VI, that the city's ontological status regards a construction of the soul, not of an actual metropolis. The Athenian democracy was on the verge of ruin and was ultimately responsible for secrate's death. Similar remarks apply to Irwin's claim that justice being necessary and sufficient for happiness leaves the only way to make people worse off that of making them more unjust, i. In his philosophy Plato gives a prominent place to the idea of justice. Though he has been given no good reason to, Polemarchus allows that he was mistaken to say that a friend was "one who was thought to be helpful" and now wishes to say that "a friend is one who is both thought to be helpful and also is [helpful]; one who is thought to be, but is not, helpful is thought to be a friend but is not. Thrasymachus who represented the new and critical view, propounded the radical theory of justice. Be this as it may, I believe that it is wrong to identify justice as a craft. Accordingly, in ethical life, it was an attempt to introduce a religion that elevated each individual not as an owner of property, but as the possessor of an immortal soul.

Cephalus is a well-off, even perhaps wealthy, merchant and businessman and Polemarchus is his son. Does Socrates expect Simonides and Polemarchus to give us an account of justice which can be unerringly followed, or which can never be followed incorrectly?

Plato strikes an analogy between the human organism on the one hand and social organism on the other.

platos republic pdf

Accessed on June 16th,

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20th WCP: Plato's Concept Of Justice: An Analysis