Analysis of Socrates' Definition of Justice in 'The Republic'

2604 Words Jan 9th, 2018 10 Pages
It appears that Socrates' definition of justice is plausible but demanding. However, because the transcendentals that Socrates seeks are like the light at the top of the mountain up which the philosopher climbs after leaving the cave, it must be realized that the journey toward justice is one of labor but not one that is implausible.
Context
Plato founded the Academy at Athens after Socrates' death and preserved the lessons that Socrates had taught, essentially laying a foundation for the study of philosophy in Western Civilization. Plato's Republic seeks to unite the lessons of the Academy with the circle of politics that occupied much of Plato's life: The Republic, in fact, teaches that unless philosophy and politics unite completely, the evils of the state will never cease. This unity, indeed, is what is at the core of Socrates' (and therefore Plato's) definition of justice.
As B. M. Laing states, The Republic argues "that justice is the principle which co-ordinates different arts" (Laing, "The Problem of Justice in Plato's Republic," p. 412). The definition of justice that Socrates attempts to explore throughout The Republic is one that considers the individual in relation to the city or the…

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