Explanations Of Justice In Plato's The Republic

Good Essays
Justice seems to be an oblique term with its definition varying across the minds of different individuals. Issues, like the death penalty and abortion, fit under the large umbrella of a question: What is truly just? In regards to governing bodies, centuries of institutions provide the information necessary to decide which form is greatest. Two of the greatest philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, both seek to determine what is truly just in government, in its leaders, and within the population. Plato, in his book The Republic, questions what justice is and why it is important in our lives. He utilizes Socrates to refute all the common explanations of justice. First, Cephalus claims that a just person honors the law and speaks truthfully, but Socrates asks him if it is just to return a weapon to an insane person, thus abiding by his conditions and deeming his definition incorrect. He argues with multiple people including Polemarchus and Thrasymachus but does not…show more content…
He holds these laws higher than his actual life and eventually dies to protect and reinforce their meaning. However, because laws are a man-made institution, it is probable that there are faults within them. Humans are often liable to mistakes; therefore, we should accept that errors within the government and politics occur. Furthermore, this assumption would explain that following the law regardless of beliefs or feelings would not be justice. If that were the case, America would still be Britain's colony, slavery would still be present, and women would not have the right to vote. Revolutions and protests are necessary to history because they jumpstart vital changes and because they usually happen for a reason. The create better civilizations and improved governments so that one day we might finally develop the perfect government
Get Access