Essay PreviewMore ↓
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. I will also give my opinion on what I personally think justice is.
During the time Socrates and his fellow citizens spent looking for a definition, they came across many different examples. Well-known Athenians, such as Polemarchus, bring out their own definitions of what justice is, with examples like Justice is "Doing the right thing, or "Giving everyone his due." But soon after these definitions on justice were given, they were shot down by the quick wits of Socrates. Throughout the books of The Republic, I enjoyed reading the many ways that Plato picked apart the flaws in examples by others. It seems that Plato could find flaws without spending much time actually examining the definition. Friends and men of Athens had to restate and restructure their definitions time in and time out during the search for the meaning of Justice.
Without the skill that Plato possessed in examining faults in definitions, one can quickly assume that a faulty definition works to be true. I did this many times while reading through different definitions. For example, the definition Polemarchus gives in section two of book one, saying that justice is giving everyone what is "appropriate" to him. To me, an example like this would fit as a definition, because without much examination, it works well for most situations. For example, if a man is good, then an appropriate return for his goodness is to be good back to him. But if a man acts in a bad or troublesome way, an equally bad punishment is needed to counter his actions. I see this fitting, but Socrates of course easily found a flaw, finding this definition useless if followed, because of there not being a person best at benefiting friends and harming enemies.
How to Cite this Page
"Justice in Plato's Republic." 123HelpMe.com. 15 Jan 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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]
971 words (2.8 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Plato's The Republic]
565 words (1.6 pages)
- In this essay, I argue that it is better to lead a life of justice than a life of injustice. In The Republic of Plato, Socrates sets out to determine what justice is. He and a group of his peers discuss justice, its core tenants, and what it means to lead a just life. Socrates is then accosted by three of his peers. Their argument is that the man who leads a life of injustice will be happier, make more profits, and succeed in life more than the man who is just. Socrates argues each of these claims until his peers admit that they have been bested by his logic.... [tags: Soul, Plato, Justice, Ethics]
2040 words (5.8 pages)
- Model of Justice in Plato's The Republic In what is perhaps his most well-known text, The Republic, Plato explores the fundamental concept of justice, how it is observed in the world, and its application to the lives of men. When he identifies the good in Book VI, which is reality and knowledge in their true forms, Plato also describes the visual world of shadows and false reality that people perceive and is cast by the sun. What follows from these definitions is that, while justice is a concept that exists autonomously from injustice and other fleeting conditions, injustice requires justice to be a medium for it to exist, develop, and spread itself.... [tags: Republic Plato Philosophy]
1719 words (4.9 pages)
- In his philosophical text, The Republic, Plato argues that justice can only be realized by the moderation of the soul, which he claims reflects as the moderation of the city. He engages in a debate, via the persona of Socrates, with Ademantus and Gaucon on the benefit, or lack thereof, for the man who leads a just life. I shall argue that this analogy reflecting the governing of forces in the soul and in city serves as a sufficient device in proving that justice is beneficial to those who believe in, and practice it.... [tags: The Republic Essays]
3023 words (8.6 pages)
- "The Republic" by Plato The Republic written by Plato examines many things. It mainly is about the Good life. Plato seems to believe that the perfect life is led only under perfect conditions which is the perfect society. Within the perfect society there would have to be justice. In the Republic it seems that justice is defined many different ways. In this paper I am going to discuss a few. First I am going to discuss the reason why Glaucon and Adeimantus see justice as being a bad thing and it is better to live a unjust life.... [tags: Republic Justice Plato Essays]
1084 words (3.1 pages)
- Plato’s Republic: Justice and Injustice in Thrasymachus' Account ABSTRACT: This paper has a two-fold task. First, I show that there are three types of individuals associated with the Thrasymachean view of society: (a) the many, i.e., the ruled or those exploited individuals who are just and obey the laws of the society; (b) the tyrant or ruler who sets down laws in the society in order to exploit the many for personal advantage; (c) the "stronger" individual (kreittoon) or member of the society who is detached from the many and aspires to become the tyrant.... [tags: Plato Republic]
6573 words (18.8 pages)
- Introduction This essay discusses and clarifies a concept that is central to Plato's argument in the Republic — an argument in favour of the transcendent value of justice as a human good; that justice informs and guides moral conduct. Plato's argument implies that justice and morality are intimately interconnected, because the excellence and goodness of human life — the best way for a person to live — is intimately dependent upon and closely interwoven with those 'things that we find desirable in themselves and for their consequences .... [tags: justice as a human good]
3136 words (9 pages)
- Justice in The Republic by Plato In Plato's The Republic, justice is depicted as a major part in a perfect society. Justice is said to breed a good society, whereas injustice will breed a bad one. Plato defines justice in dialogue as "keeping what is properly one's own and doing one's own job." (Pg. 146) Under the rules set for this perfect society, people are to practice the one profession at which they perform best. This profession also corresponds to a certain social class. Under no circumstances can one change this profession.... [tags: Papers]
496 words (1.4 pages)
- What is justice. Obviously, the word can have multiple meanings. If we were to walk in the Student Center and ask ten people what justice was, they probably all would have different responses. I am not saying that they would not have some of the same ideas, but ultimately, their responses would vary. Having said that, what if one of the people's ideas of justice included injustices. For example, Adolf Hitler believed that justice would be reached by completely wiping out Jewish people and creating a "perfect" blonde-haired, blue-eyed Aryan race.... [tags: Plato Philosophy Society]
1449 words (4.1 pages)
In the end, Socrates and his fellow gentleman seem to arrive after much time with no agreement on a definition, a pattern seen in much of his work. But this still leaves the reader with many unanswered questions, the main one, What is the meaning of Justice? So the way I take it, there is not an agreeable set definition. I think this undefined meaning of Justice is still prevalent in the society of today, looking at the different ways so called "Justice" is brought and used throughout society. Throughout my life, I have seen and heard through news and media, many different examples of justice in our society, but for the most part they are not similar or set in all ways. Criminals that commit the same exact crime might be issued differing sentences, depending on factors such as gender, age or even status in society.
Examples of this sort of injustice are seen almost daily, considering the crime filled world to which we live. An example of this could be rape or molestation. A man and a woman that both commit this crime would probably receive different sentences, in most cases, the man would get more time. But is this fair, are we being just in issuing unjust sentences like these? Status examples are also widely seen, cases where a famous or well known person might get off easy, because of who he or she is. To me, this seems a very unjust act, because I feel all people should be considered all the same when being tried. As for my opinion, I can't quite put a label on justice. I might see a court case verdict, and say to myself "Justice has been served", but I say this not because I know exactly what justice is, but because I feel the right choice was made. I think that my outlook on justice might be the same that our society accepts. Justice is making the right choice. The problem with this is that the person making the choice, is not always the best one to make the right choice. But because the person deciding justice has the given power in a situation, let's hope and assume that they were put there for a reason. Because they are just persons who make just choices. In conclusion, through this paper, I have brought up and shared some of my views and those that Socrates and friends have on Justice. I have looked for a definition to fit the meaning of justice by examining The Republic and my own personal experience with justice throughout life. In the end, just like Socrates, I have come to find no set definition of justice, only basic thoughts and opinions.
So I guess justice will have to be solved in the future. For now, I just hope that the people put in charge of justice in our country were put there for a reason, and hopefully will do their jobs right. This is just in case I might need "The right" Justice on my side.