Justice And Injustice Of Plato 's The Republic

1502 Words Oct 3rd, 2014 7 Pages
Short Essay: Justice and Injustice in Plato’s The Republic
In Plato’s The Republic, Socrates expresses his belief that in order for a state and its people to be functioning at their best, every citizen ought to do what they have the most character for, or what they are most qualified to do. Whether it is craftsmanship, guarding the city, playing music, or healing the sick, Socrates thinks that everyone should make his or her living doing one thing that they are skilled at, and one thing only. In order to ensure that only the best guardians are guarding the state, and only the most fit to rule become rulers, and so on, Socrates proposes the myth of the metals. He says to Glaucon that such an “audacious fiction” is necessary to convince the people that their livelihoods are beyond their choice and out of their control. The myth of the metals contains various invented truths, the first being that the state does not educate or train any citizen in their youth; instead, it is the earth that cultivates each person’s characteristics and skills. In this way, everyone has different inherent talents that are specially selected by God. God mingles gold into those who have the power to command others and who have claim to the greatest honor in society. He makes others with silver, which He deems best fit to guard the city as auxillaries, or soldiers. And finally, He composes the craftsmen, farmers, and other common citizens with brass and iron. God commands the rulers of the state to…
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