Justice Essay Research Paper In the Republic

Justice Essay, Research Paper

In the Republic, Plato attempts to answer one of philosophy’s most central

questions: What is justice or right conduct? Thrasymachus, who is upset at

Socrates’ rhetoric interrupts, suggests that justice is what is in the interest

of the stronger. Thrasymachus’s view of justice is that justice is the advantage

of the stronger. Thrasymachus explains this by expressing that the government

makes rules to its own advantage and so it is declared just for their people.

Socrates argues Thrasymachus’s view by insisting that rulers command certain

acts on their subjects which sometimes mistake their own best interest causing

themselves harm. Thrasymachus agrees with Socrates that rulers often do act

against what is in their own interest and that sometimes the stronger orders the

weaker, their subject, to do what is disadvantageous to themselves. Thrasymachus

says it is just to obey the orders of the rulers and just is the advantage of

the stronger. The more important opinion of justice by Thrasymachus is that

justice benefits other people while injustice benefits you. The stronger person

uses his/her strength advantage to his/her advantage. Socrates catches

Thrasymachus contradicting himself by stating that justice requires doing what

is to the stronger advantage. Thrasymachus says that the stronger sometimes

makes mistakes and orders something not to his advantage and justice requires

subjects to obey stranger. Therefore, justice sometimes requires subjects to do

what is not to the stronger’s advantage. This statement is a contradiction to

Thrasymachus’s first remark. Thrasymachus then introduces craft assumption.

Socrates believes that true crafts people pursue not their own advantage, but

the subjects of their craft and that rulers are considered craftsmen. Socrates

concludes that true rulers seek not their own advantage, but their advantage of

their subjects. Rulers use their craft to the advantage of their subject and not

for their own advantage. Thrasymachus denies that true craftsman seek not their

own advantage but, the subjects of their craft by giving example of the

shepherds and cowherds. They do not seek the good of their animal instead their

sole purpose is fattening them for their own good. The question that is produced

is: What makes something the subject of a craft?" Two elements make

something a subject. First, it needs to be the thing that is practiced on. Sheep

are the shepherd’s subject because they are being practiced on. The second thing

is that the subject is the beneficiary of the craft. In this case, patients are

the subjects of the doctor because they are the ones being treated of the

illness. The dictionary definition of justice is that it is an abstract

principle by which right and wrong are defined or the principle of moral or

ideal rightness. This objection creates a major point of controversy that

Socrates would like to expose falsehood. One example that Socrates points to is

the honor among thieves. The same way that division and self interest pulls

apart thieves, injustice will pull apart the soul.


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