Wisdom in the state must be said to reside in the class of rulers, for, by definition, they rule by counseling the other classes and themselves.
Table of Contents Overview Why do men behave justly? Is it because they fear societal punishment? Are they trembling before notions of divine retribution? Do the stronger elements of society scare the weak into submission in the name of law?
Or do men behave justly because it is good for them to do so? Is justice, regardless of its rewards and punishments, a good thing in and of itself?
How do we define justice? Plato sets out to answer these questions in The Republic. He wants to define justice, and to define it in such a way as to show that justice is worthwhile in and of itself. He meets these two challenges with a single solution: An ideal society consists of three main classes of people—producers craftsmen, farmers, artisans, etc.
Each group must perform its appropriate function, and only that function, and each must be in the right position of power in relation to the others. Justice is a principle of specialization: At the end of Book IV, Plato tries to show that individual justice mirrors political justice.
He claims that the soul of every individual has a three part structure analagous to the three classes of a society. There is a rational part of the soul, which seeks after truth and is responsible for our philosophical inclinations; a spirited part of the soul, which desires honor and is responsible for our feelings of anger and indignation; and an appetitive part of the soul, which lusts after all sorts of things, but money most of all since money must be used to fulfill any other base desire.
The just individual can be defined in analogy with the just society; the three parts of his soul achieve the requisite relationships of power and influence in regard to one another. In a just individual, the rational part of the soul rules, the spirited part of the soul supports this rule, and the appetitive part of the soul submits and follows wherever reason leads.
The parallels between the just society and the just individual run deep. Each of the three classes of society, in fact, is dominated by one of the three parts of the soul. Producers are dominated by their appetites—their urges for money, luxury, and pleasure.
Warriors are dominated by their spirits, which make them courageous. Rulers are dominated by their rational faculties and strive for wisdom. Books V through VII focus on the rulers as the philosopher kings.
In a series of three analogies—the allegories of the sun, the line, and the cave—Plato explains who these individuals are while hammering out his theory of the Forms. Plato explains that the world is divided into two realms, the visible which we grasp with our senses and the intelligible which we only grasp with our mind.
The visible world is the universe we see around us. The intelligible world is comprised of the Forms—abstract, changeless absolutes such as Goodness, Beauty, Redness, and Sweetness that exist in permanent relation to the visible realm and make it possible.
An apple is red and sweet, the theory goes, because it participates in the Forms of Redness and Sweetness. Only the Forms are objects of knowledge, because only they possess the eternal unchanging truth that the mind—not the senses—must apprehend.Given Sachs’ critique, several commentators have come to Socrates’ defense to bridge the gap between a just soul and just actions (these are discussed in detail by Singpurwalla, Rachel G.
K. “Plato’s Defense of Justice in the Republic”). Yet because Socrates links his discussion of personal justice to an account of justice in the city and makes claims about how good and bad cities are arranged, the Republic sustains reflections on political questions, as well.
The Republic study guide contains a biography of Plato, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. While there's no one definition of justice offered in the Republic—remember, it's a dialogue, not an essay—Socrates does conclude that justice is 1) doing what you're best suited to do and 2) minding your own business (ab).
Ancient Philosophy. Plato's Concept Of Justice: An Analysis. D.R. Bhandari J.N.V. University. ABSTRACT: In his philosophy Plato gives a prominent place to the idea of justice. Plato was highly dissatisfied with the prevailing degenerating conditions in Athens.
Justice in Plato's "The Republic" Essay Words | 3 Pages.
|Ethics, Part One: What Justice Is||As the story goes, Chaerephon asks the oracle whether anyone is wiser than Socrates. Socrates reports that he is puzzled by this answer since so many other people in the community are well known for their extensive knowledge and wisdom, and yet Socrates claims that he lacks knowledge and wisdom.|
|From the SparkNotes Blog||Justice is Better than Injustice.|
|An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers.||Cephalus replies that he is happy to have escaped his youthful sexual appetite one of many passions he has learned to overcomethat wealth in age provides a man the liberty of always telling the truth never misrepresenting himself in word or deedand that one obvious advantage of money is that it enables a man to pay his just debts.|
Plato creates a seemingly invincible philosopher in The Republic. Socrates is able to refute all arguments presented before him with ease. The discussion on justice in Book I .