Form And Justice In Plato's The Republic

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First, it is necessary to define what a form is and to establish the role Book I plays in the overall scheme of The Republic. A form, according to Plato’s Socrates, is the very essence of a thing and represents the most substantive part of reality. Book I sets the foundation for the subsequent nine books, and introduces the concept of justice as a main theme. Socrates and other characters, such as Thrasymachus, Polemarchus, and Cephalus are responsible for the original definitions of justice and the challenges defining it entails. Furthermore, there is an underlying significance to the connection between form and justice. Justice is doing goodness, which is the highest form and can only be accomplished by having an understanding of the forms.…show more content…
The dialogue is taking place between Glaucon and Socrates, and it is Socrates who said, “We’ll never be musical…before we recognize the forms of moderation, courage, liberality, magnificence, and all their kin, and, again, their opposites…” (403c) Another example from this dialogue, which is discussing education in the forms, is, “a good soul by its own virtue makes the body as good as it can be.” (403d) We cannot fully understand what Socrates means here until we understand the formation of soul is, and the three virtues. We need to know form in order to know that, because knowledge of the form goodness is the origin of wisdom (one of the three virtues that compose a…show more content…
There have been allusions and references to the forms even though readers do not have a definition or example of them to work off until Book III. This is where I believe it is essential to make the argument that understanding what a form is, is not especially crucial to making use of a form. I doubt Cephalus realized that his assertion on human character was so dependent on the composition and quality of souls, and therefore forms. Nonetheless, he managed to make a workable argument. Socrates also paired wisdom, which we later find out to be being knowledgeable of the form of goodness, with justice to make the argument that justice, among other things, education of the

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