Human Nature and Moral Theory in Plato’s Republic Essay

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Human Nature and Moral Theory in Plato’s Republic

In Chapter 2 of Republic, Glaucon uses the Myth of the Lydian Shepherd to portray a pessimistic view of human nature. Plato, the author of Republic, uses his brother Glaucon to tell the Myth of the Lydian Shepherd. We are led to believe that Plato takes the myth and its implications on human nature very seriously by use of a personal character. The argument, originally given by Thrasymachus, contends that at the root of our human nature we all yearn for the most profit possible. It also contends that any man will act immorally if given free reign. The theory proves unplausible due to circularity in the argument and implications that prove untrue. Thrasymachus approaches
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According to Thrasymachus, not only is morality relative and constructed, but also that human nature seeks solely to seize as much profit as possible.

Thrasymachus' Argument goes as follows:
1. We all desire to benefit ourselves as much as possible.
2. The only way to benefit oneself is to be immoral and get away with it.
3. Rulers and superior people are capable of committing and getting away with immoral actions on a much larger scale than weaker people are.
4. Rulers and superior people are capable of benefiting themselves more than weaker people, and thus are happier than weaker people.
C. We all desire to be rulers or superior people in order to commit immoral acts on a large scale, thus benefiting ourselves the most.

Socrates is eventually successful in confusing Thrasymachus and concluding the conversation, but Glaucon, who was witness to the conversation, was not satisfied.
Glaucon brings up the topic again with Socrates in Chapter 2 of Republic, seeking a more definitive answer. Glaucon presents the Myth of the Lydian Shepherd as a thought-experiment to
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