Justice and Morality in Plato's Republic

3158 Words13 Pages
Justice and Morality in Plato's Republic
Explain and evaluate the reasons given by Plato in the Republic, to support the contention that justice is superior to, or more beneficial than, injustice?
What is the relationship between justice and morality?
Introduction
This essay discusses and clarifies a concept that is central to Plato's argument in the Republic — an argument in favour of the transcendent value of justice as a human good; that justice informs and guides moral conduct. Plato's argument implies that justice and morality are intimately interconnected, because the excellence and goodness of human life — the best way for a person to live — is intimately dependent upon and closely interwoven with those 'things that we find
…show more content…
Plato recognizes that knowledge and understanding of the Forms is of momentous value, because they are pre-eminent and transcendent goods. Possession of the Forms, in a sense that does not imply ownership, is the product of reason — visualised as the most worthwhile attribute of the human soul — and it is this possession which leads to human happiness. A happiness shared by all of those who arrive at a true realisation of the Forms, through the supremacy and superiority of human reason [12]. For Plato, an action is approved of not simply because it is preferred by reason, but because reason will prefer it when reason has succeeded in apprehending the Good, and applying that apprehension to the task of choosing actions [13].
Possession of the Forms implies and involves an emotional bond, combined with those activities characteristic of love and friendship. We are connected with such worthwhile and valuable possessions, as the Forms, through emotional engagement and intellectual understanding. It is this that informs and enhances the value of the agent's life, and the moral life in particular [14].
One aspect of the goodness of the Forms resides in the concept of harmony, balance or proportion. The superiority and transcendent quality of the Forms, in comparison with other desirable objects, derives from and is constituted by their incorporeality and their possession of the
Open Document