This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Plato's Concept Of Justice Essay

2203 words - 9 pages

Plato's Concept Of Justice

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. The Athenian democracy was on the verge of ruin and was ultimately responsible for Socrates's death. The amateur meddlesomeness and excessive individualism became main targets of Plato's attack. This attack came in the form of the construction of an ideal society in which justice reigned supreme, since Plato believed justice to be the remedy for curing these evils. After criticizing the conventional theories of justice presented differently by Cephalus, Polymarchus, Thrasymachus and Glaucon, Plato gives us his own theory of justice according to which, individually, justice is a 'human virtue' that makes a person self-consistent and good; socially, justice is a social consciousness that makes a society internally harmonious and good. According to Plato, justice is a sort of specialization.

Plato in his philosophy gives very important place to the idea of justice. He used the Greek word "Dikaisyne" for justice which comes very near to the work 'morality' or 'righteousness', it properly includes within it the whole duty of man. It also covers the whole field of the individual's conduct in so far as it affects others. Plato contended that justice is the quality of soul, in virtue of which men set aside the irrational desire to taste every pleasure and to get a selfish satisfaction out of every object and accommodated themselves to the discharge of a single function for the general benefit.

Plato was highly dissatisfied with the prevailing degenerating conditions in Athens. The Athenian democracy was on the verge of ruin and was ultimately responsible for secrate's death. Plato saw in justice the only remedy of saving Athens from decay and ruin, for nothing agitated him in contemporary affairs more than amateurishness, needlesomeness and political selfishness which was rampant in Athens of his day in particular and in the entire Greek world in general. In additional, Sophistic teaching of the ethics of self-satisfaction resulted in the excessive individualism also induced the citizens to capture the office of the State for their own selfish purpose and eventually divided "Athens in to two histile camps of rich and poor, opressor and opressed. "Evidently, these two factors amateur needlesomeness and excessive individualism became main targets of Plato's attack. The attack came in the form of the construction of an ideal society in which "Justice" reigned supreme, since Plato found in justice the remedy for curing these evils. Thus, we are to inquire in this study the nature of justice as prepounded by Plato as a fundamental principle of well-order society.

It is to be noted that before Plato many theories of justice were prevalent. The inquiry about justice goes from the crudest to the most refined interpretation of it. It remains therefore to...

Find Another Essay On Plato's Concept Of Justice

What is justice in Book 1 of Plato's "Republic"?

1122 words - 4 pages lead to self-righteousness. Secondly, this external conception does not lead to much thought. Finally, external justice is too reasonably filled with doubt. Basically, external morality is in what you do. If someone does something just, but doesn't believe in what they are doing, they are still just. Acting justly, even if one does not think justly, is crucial. Socrates isn't satisfied with this concept of justice and instead wants to

Glaucon's Challenge and Plato's Theory of Justice in Plato's Republic

1939 words - 8 pages injustice is never more profitable to a person than justice and Thrasymachus withdraws from the argument, granting Plato’s response. Glaucon, however, is not satisfied and proposes a challenge to Plato to prove that justice is intrinsically valuable and that living a just life is always superior. This paper will explain Glaucon’s challenge to Plato regarding the value of justice, followed by Plato’s response in which he argues that his theory of

Glaucon's Definition of Justice from Plato's Republic. Also, courage is examined in a similar context

315 words - 2 pages A Definition of JusticeIn this paragraph Glaucon, who has taken up the argument from Thrasymachus, makes his definition of justice. He states that justice is a compromise of sorts between advantage and fear. People understand that being unjust is often to their advantage; however, they also fear being the victim of injustice. If they could act unjustly without suffering the consequences they would. This partially explains Thrasymachus? earlier

Platos Forms

1975 words - 8 pages whole of reality (Jones 219). Topic #4: Forms as Final Causes      In The Development of Plato's Metaphysics, Forms are considered to be formal and final causes, or "reasons" or "explanations" (Teloh 134). Teloh gives examples of Forms being final causes and describes how Forms, in the Republic, are true objects of love and love strives for true Being. Plato suggests "Justice and Injustice, Good and

The Ethical Egoist in Plato's Republic

1140 words - 5 pages morality that we are able to agree upon. The ethical egoist, as evident in Plato's writings, encourages these unnecessary political problems by delegitimizing the concept of justice altogether. Plato, writing through Socrates, is quick to respond to the claims made by Thrasymachus and attempts to address the problem with the ethical egoist's logic. Socrates provides three points to counter those of Thrasymachus, and ultimately attempts to

Plato's life and contributions to society.. What is known about his past, and how he enhanced the world around him

1629 words - 7 pages boundaries of the things they are represented in. He also believed the Forms are unchanging, unmoving, and indivisible. Another one of Plato's famous concepts was his two-realms concept. Plato believed that there are two realms; one realm deals with our sensory perceptions, and the other deals with the absolute truth, eternity, and perfection. This belief is derived from Plato's writing entitled "The Cave," which is found in his Republic dialogue. He

PLATO: His Biography and Works

2417 words - 10 pages the concept of the 'Forms' and therefore, can make the wisest decisions. Indeed, Plato's ideal educational system is primarily structured to produce philosopher-kings.(HC)Plato associates the traditional Greek virtues with the class structure of the ideal state. Temperance is the unique virtue of the artisan class; courage is the virtue of the military class; and wisdom is the virtue of the rulers. Justice, the fourth virtue, characterizes society

Comparing Plato and Aristotle on government and the concept of good

1645 words - 7 pages Plato is primarily concerned with knowing the good. In the Republic, Plato intends to define justice and describes an elaborate city-state setup with the goal of being a just city. A guardian class of philosophers rules in Plato's city, because these are the only people who can know the good. Everyone else's role in the city is to do their work to support the city so that the guardians are able to philosophize. Aristotle does not follow this

Plato - "The Republic" - Explain and Evaluate Plato's theory of knowledge

1148 words - 5 pages , how it is obtained (if at all), and the validity of it. Plato's contention in The Republic is to show that the world of the forms exists, and it is the true philosophers who have knowledge and should rule the community.Prior to commencing any discussion of Plato's theory of knowledge it is crucial to outline his concept of the Forms. The Theory of the forms, briefly, states that the material world around us and all its objects are merely

Plato's Ideas About Philosopher Kings Depicted in Republic

1737 words - 7 pages ultimately be king. Plato's starting point was his recognition that justice was one of four cardinal virtues, along with wisdom, courage and moderation, that when working harmoniously together in a high level of order - he felt equalled the elusive 'good life'. Plato thought that the best way to discover what justice was, was to create a 'perfect soul' - this he did by first creating a theoretical 'perfect city', which would have a good soul and

answers

1867 words - 7 pages maintains its validity even upon close scrutiny. This source analyzes this aspect of the dialogue in an attempt to better understand Plato's definition of justice and its consequences. Barker's in depth analysis brings to light aspects of Plato's theory of justice which do not readily present themselves to newcomers to the discipline. His succinct pronunciation of Plato's definition of justice on page ninety-six is particularly useful: "They must

Similar Essays

Plato's Concept Of Democracy And Justice

835 words - 3 pages Book one of Plato's Republic examines the concept of democracy and justice. Thrasymachus, the Sophist declares that justice is the advantage of the stronger, whereas Socrates argues that justice is wisdom, something good and desirable. According to this in Athenian times, a democracy could not survive with out a system of justice in place. This still holds true in the contemporary Western world. Throughout the dialogue of book one, Socrates

Justice Pays. Analysis Of Plato's Republic And The Concept Of Justice

1664 words - 7 pages Plato's argument for the benefits of a just life is intrinsically linked to his definition of good and its relation to people's desires. He begins by showing that when the objective of a desire is simple (e.g. quenching a thirst), the desire must be correspondingly simple. Since thirst is a simple desire, the man's objective must also be simplistic and should we assign an adjective to his objective, we would falsely complicate it. In addition

Aristotle's Concept Of Justice Essay

1121 words - 4 pages In his book The Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle discusses the concept of justice in Book V. Justice is used with its many different connotations. However, in order to explain the statement that justice can only be found in the laws established by the state I would like to point out the last two types of justice and the notion of equity Aristotle refers to in his book. The first is natural justice, true for everyone, and next to that there is

Plato's View Of Justice In The Republic

2931 words - 12 pages Discuss Plato's view of Justice in The Republic.Having lived an extraordinarily long life (for his time), with no consistent doctrine of belief, it has become customary to divide Plato's writings chronologically into three periods, Early, Middle and Late. The Republic, a collection of ten books, is thought to have been written after Phaedo during the 'middle-period' of Plato's life. It is during this period that Plato's philosophy becomes his