Justice According to Plato Essay

Justice According to Plato Essay

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In Republic, Plato presents his view of justice and why it is better to be just rather than unjust. In doing so, Plato tries to develop a parallel between justice in the city and justice in the individual. Justice in the city can be characterized by every citizen performing one’s own social service in the state in which his nature is best adapted. Justice in the soul is each of the three parts of the soul—rational, spirited and appetitive— performing its proper functions and being in harmony with each other. The film Crimes and Misdemeanors provides a perspective unlike that of Plato’s, on the topic of justice. Through the actions of Judah, a crucial character of the film, the idea of being just and unjust is different. Plato’s attempt at drawing a parallel between justice in the city and justice in the soul is flawed as well has his arguments for being just rather than unjust.
Plato tries to explain justice by providing a connection between justice in the city and justice in the soul. He believes that there is more justice in larger things, such as the city, which will aid in the learning of what justice is like in the individual. By using induction, Plato is willing to “find out what sort of thing justice is in a city, and afterwards look for it in an individual, observing the ways in which the smaller is similar to the larger” (369e). Plato explores parts of the city in terms of specific roles played by individuals. According to Plato, more plentiful and better-quality goods are produced for the city when each person does the job that he is naturally suited for and released from doing any other things (370c). In a just city, the philosopher rulers rule, the guardians will protect the city and the producers will produce good...

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...and continue with his life.
Plato’s connection between justice in the city and justice in the soul is flawed as well as his arguments for why someone should be just rather than unjust. Plato thinks that the characteristics of the city have formed from the characteristics of its citizens. If the city is a kallipolis, than the individuals that make up the city must be just, however, the producers who are ruled by their appetitive parts make up the majority of the city. Plato also believes that it is always better to be just than unjust because guilt will consume one’s soul. In the film, Judah commits an unjust act but still is able to free himself of guilt. Whereas Plato believes that there should be moral structure in one’s life, the film Crime and Misdemeanors presents a life in which there is no moral structure and where life is infused by work, love and desires.

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