Intangible Justice is in the Soul Essay

1352 Words6 Pages
Intangible Justice is in the Soul

Plato’s Republic, although officially divided into ten books, can be separated into two very distinct sections. The first section, roughly spanning Books I through IV, contains a rather tangible investigation of justice in practice. Namely, the section considers what acts or occurrences are just, either in a city or in a man. The second section, beginning around Book V and continuing through the end of the dialogue, deals with the much more abstract issue of justice in a soul. The backbone of this section is the Allegory of the Cave, and the establishment of the philosopher. Within these discussions, a new concept of justice is revealed which proves to be the most profound in the dialogue, and
…show more content…
This is a profound step, as it can be paralleled with releasing someone from the “noble lie” created during the formation of the just city—an act considered and completely refuted at the time. Socrates continues to describe the process of release. “Take a man who is released and suddenly compelled to stand up, to turn his neck around, to walk and look up toward the light…” The most significant piece of this description is the introduction of the “light”, representing education and a realization of reality and truth. Socrates describes this liberated person as feeling pain, at first blinded and unaccepting of the new reality placed before him. In order to make the person see the light, “someone” (515e) drags him towards it, and only after time he would become accustomed and begin to see what has really been presented to him.

Every detail of the Allegory has some other meaning[3], but two of its elements are far and beyond the most important—the “light”, and the “someone” who aids in the liberation. The light, and more specifically the “sun”, that Socrates speaks of is nothing more and nothing less than being told the truth. At first it is rejected, not surprisingly, because it overturns everything that was known to be true. But after time, it is gradually accepted until the person accepts the new reality just as he accepted the old reality of puppets and shadows. The “someone” that brings the person out of the cave is

More about Intangible Justice is in the Soul Essay

Open Document