Essay on Comparing Plato 's Republic And The Virtues Of The Soul

Essay on Comparing Plato 's Republic And The Virtues Of The Soul

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In Plato’s Republic, various definitions of justice are discussed but the philosophers are searching for one universal definition. The philosophers argue back and forth attempting to come to a compromise or a solution. Plato believes that the just life is the only good life where one can truly be content. Throughout the books, Plato compares the virtues of the city and the virtues of the soul. In Plato’s view, what makes up the soul and what makes up the city are similar. Plato argues with others whether or not the citizens in the society need to be just in order to have a just city. Does one need to be just to be called a “citizen” of one’s society? The just man is always the happiest. Aristotle believes that the good man is defined differently than the good citizen. Plato has a separate viewpoint when it comes defining the good citizen versus the good man. Defining justice is essential to having a just society.
In Book I, Plato speaks through Socrates, his teacher. Socrates and Cephalus begin to have a conversation about the meaning of justice. Cephalus states that justice is man living up to his legal obligations and being honest. Socrates refutes Cephalus with the example that “everyone would surely agree that if a man borrows weapons from a sane friend, and if he goes mad and asks for them back, the friend should not return them, and would not be just if he did” (Plato 5). So speaking the truth and repaying what one borrows is not the definition of justice. Polemarchus argues that being just involves helping friends and causing harm to enemies. This is proven inaccurate when Plato argues that our friends are not always virtuous and the people we view as enemies are not always societies worst people. Thrasym...


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...edgeable to be completely content, and only the just are capable of being content and well-rounded. A just man is a good man, even if other citizens do not see it.
Aristotle has different views between the good man and the good citizen. According to Aristotle, a citizen is one who is distinguished from others by his “participation in giving judgment and in holding office” (Aristotle 169). In order to be a good citizen one must uphold and honor his or her constitution. There are many different kinds of constitutions and governments so their a several different types and definitions of a good citizen. In order to be a good man one must have perfect virtue. Aristotle’s definition of a good man is one who finds happiness by living with virtue. Having perfect virtue is not a requirement to be a good citizen, so one can be a good man without being a good citizen.

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