Justice for All Ages

Powerful Essays
Justice for All Ages

The question of “What is Justice?” plagued the ancient philosophers and continues to plague the professional and amateur academic philosophers of today. The question is so hard, because it is quite difficult to know where to begin. Socrates1 spoke of justice in relation to the gods, Plato in relation to an individual’s duty in society, and Achilles, in a somewhat indirect way, in relation to honor and loyalty. All three of these men had very convincing arguments about the true nature of justice, but it is impossible to say now, or most likely ever, whether any of them actually got it right. The current goal is to synthesize their ideas with those of Aristophanes, Euripides2, and even Richard Kraut, representing the modern academic philosopher, in an effort to further develop and test the concept of justice.

In order to approach this daunting task, it is important which medium is chosen through which to proceed. Following in the footsteps of Plato and Socrates, it seems fitting to do utilize the dialogue format. The dialogue format consists of a conversation in which a discussion ensues, questions are asked, hypotheses are formed and challenged, and hopefully, in the end there is some clearer understanding of the issue at hand.

This dialogue takes place on the Isle of the Blessed where the now-immortals Achilles, Socrates, Aristophanes and Euripides live. Lasthenia3, a philosopher from ancient Greece, has brought Plato to the island and, naturally a discussion begins. The discussion, as promised, brings in the ideas of justice from many different points of view and ends with the unannounced entrance of Richard Kraut to add yet another twist.

Characters of the dia...

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...versity Press, 1998.

Euripides. Bacchae. Translated by Paul Woodruff. Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1998.

Homer. The Iliad. Translated by Robert Fagles. New York: Penguin Books, 1990.

Kraut, Richard. The Defense of Justice in Plato’s Republic. Plato’s Republic: Critical Essays, edited by Richard Kraut. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1997.

Plato. Apology of Socrates. Translated by Thomas G. West and Grace Starry West in Four Texts on Socrates. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998.

Plato. Euthyphro. Translated by Thomas G. West and Grace Starry West in Four Texts on Socrates. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998.

Plato. Republic. Translated by G.M.A. Grube, revised by C.D.C. Reeve. Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1992.

Vlastos, Gregory. Socratic Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
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