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What According To Socrates Is A Just City

1337 words - 5 pages

According to Socrates a just city where most of the population is virtuous, because a just city is based on the virtues of wisdom, moderation, and courage. The reason the city came into existence was for justice, not pleasure and happiness. Wisdom and good judgment are based upon knowledge. Also, Socrates examines the effect of wealth on craftsmen, and states that if a potter gets rich, he will not be concerned for his craft and will become lazy and a bad potter; unless he remains poor, then he wont be able to afford the tools needed to become a good or better potter. As a result, both wealth and poverty cause bad work and workmen, and it should be the duty of the guardians to prevent these from coming into the city.Then the men begin to discuss what is justice, and injustice. The first thing they come across is wisdom. They recognize that it comes from good judgment, which is clearly a kind of knowledge. Therefore, people make good judgments because of knowledge rather than ignorance. If a society ever got to the point of being totally just, the society would no longer have greed, drive for a better life, and it would not have poverty or wealth. The society would just stop. There would be no more invention, growth, or change.This knowledge needs to be complete, rather than for just one skill. So it is recognized that it belongs with the guardians. Next, Glaucon and Socrates try to find where the Athens' courage comes from. Courage is the "power to preserve under all circumstances, the right, lawful opinion of what is and is not to be feared." Socrates and Glaucon find that the people in the city who exhibit this courageous behavior are the guardians of the city. The class system is based upon the knowledge of the forms, therefore the philosopher kings and the guardians supply wisdom. The auxiliaries provide the courage, and the money makers supply moderation. When all three of these are realized justice is formed.Now on to temperance, the two define it as a kind of control over certain desires and pleasures of the body. So, a temperate man is a master of himself. This means that a man's goodness rules over the unjust part of his soul. In the city, the good rules over the bad.They then assume that the women, children, slaves, and free men who make the lesser part of the city, where those people are guided by reason, along with intelligence and right opinion are the better few. So, "the desires of the worthless many are controlled by the desires and knowledge of the decent few." Since Athens is a temperate city, many recognize the few as better people. Therefore everybody in this city should have the same opinion of who should rule. This results in a form of control existing among all people, and temperance resembles harmony, since there is an agreement in all parts.Justice is the last part of the soul, and Socrates then comes to find that this is just handling your own matters, and not meddling in the affairs of others. This would entail the...

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