In book four of Plato's “The Republic” Socrates defines justice in the individual as analogous to justice in the state. I will explain Socrates' definition of justice in the individual, and then show that Socrates cannot certify that his definition of justice is correct, without asking further questions about justice. I will argue that if we act according to this definition of justice, then we do not know when we are acting just. Since neither the meaning of justice, nor the meaning of good judgement, is contained in the definition, then one can act unjustly while obeying to the definition of justice. If one can act unjustly while obeying this definition, then Socrates' definition of justice is uncertifiable.
Socrates defines justice in the individual as the three parts of the soul doing their job and only their job (433b). The parts of the soul are reason, appetite, and spirit (435c). Reason is the part that thinks and makes judgements. Appetite is the part that is impulsive and acts on bodily desires. Spirit is the part that is emotional, and acts on feelings, such as courage (...
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- Justice in Plato's Republic Justice. What is justice. In this world where many people look out only for themselves, justice can be considered the happiness of oneself. But because selfish men do not always decide our standards in society, to find a definition, society should look at the opinions of many. Just as in the modern society to which we live, where everyone feels justice has a different meaning, the society of Plato also struggled with the same problem. In this paper, I will look into the Republic, one of the books of Plato that resides heavily on defining an answer to the meaning of Justice, and try to find an absolute definition.... [tags: Papers Justice Plato Republic Essays]
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