According To Thracymachus Justice Is In The Interest Of

1687 WordsMay 15, 20177 Pages
According to Thracymachus justice is in the interest of the stronger. In a democracy, justice is in the interest of majority, while in aristocracy, justice benefits the elites. Thracymachus, a sophist was responding to the question, “what is justice?” as put forth by Socrates. An important implication of this response is that justice lies in following the rules and regulations made by the ruler and therefore, doing what is in the interest of the ruler. The problem with this understanding of justice is that for Socrates, justice is a virtue that applies universally everywhere, while for Thracymachus justice would change from city to city depending on the type of ruler. For instance, if gambling is legal in city A and illegal in city B,…show more content…
This position is that between perfect morality and perfect immorality, the latter is more profitable (348b). Morality for him is simplicity (348c), while immorality represents cleverness and goodness (348d). Thracymachus is arguing in fact that the immoral grasping person is more effective and better off than moral simpletons who suffer. He takes this stand after being cornered by Socrates on rulers can make mistakes. In other words, his absolute ethical principle is enlightened self interest or ethical egoism. As against this position, Socrates’ argument is that an immoral person’s behavior resembles a stupid and bad person’s behavior in other areas of expertise than that of an intelligent and good person. Socrates argues that moral persons being simpletons are only concerned that they are better than immoral persons, not the moral persons, while immoral persons want to have absolute superiority over both moral and immoral persons to which Thracymachus agrees (349c-d). Socrates argues that these claims being true, it follows that immoral persons must be like other people who are good and intelligent, but the moral ones would be unlike such persons (349d-e) to which Thracymachus has no difficulty in agreeing. Socrates is trying to find out whether good and intelligent people are moral or immoral. Next, he claims that a good and intelligent musician or the good and intelligent physician attempt to show someone like them less knowledgeable (349e-350). On the

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