In Plato’S Republic, Thrasymachus Asserts That Justice

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In Plato’s Republic, Thrasymachus asserts that justice is the interest of the ruling part in a political community. This is proven wrong in many ways in Book II. Socrates disassembles this theory using undisputed definitions of wisdom and virtue. These definitions of wisdom and virtue are rendered by a ruler’s personal biases. A ruler has a natural internal motivation to gain undisputed expertise of their craft. A ruler of a political community does act through personal motivations, but by doing so inherently considers the interest of the entirety of the community, as the community’s level of justice will prove a ruler’s competency in their own craft. Thrasymachus begins conversing his theory of justice in Book II of the Republic by…show more content…
Socrates states that Thrasymachus is wrong in his addition of the clause “for the stronger” (Republic 339b) to his theory that “justice is what is advantageous for the stronger”. Less influential actors in a political community are still influential by simply being the subjects to the rule of laws. They just by their act of choosing to obey their rulers (Republic 339b). He also states that the ruling part of political society can make errors (Republic 339c) and thus create unjust laws. This means that both justice and injustice can be found in all parts of a political community.
In a just political community, the rulers and the ruled both desire to act justly. This is where Socrates definition of justice in a political society is not based on self-interest as it is in Thrasymachus’ theory. It is rather driven by two natural driving forces in men, wisdom and virtue. To make Thrasymachus agree with these concepts, Socrates first convinces Thrasymachus to agree with him using anecdotes.
Socrates uses the crafts of a doctor and a sailor to change Thrasymachus’ perception of political rulers. Prior to Socrates manipulation, Thrasymachus views politicians as self-interested rulers who work only for themselves. Socrates compares a sailor captain to a politician. A captain of a ship is not only a captain because he selfishly chose to man a ship, but rather because his sailors respect his for his craft. A good
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