Justice in The Republic by Plato Essay

480 Words 2 Pages
Justice in The Republic by Plato

In Plato's The Republic, justice is depicted as a major part in a perfect society. Justice is said to breed a good society, whereas injustice will breed a bad one. Plato defines justice in dialogue as "keeping what is properly one's own and doing one's own job." (Pg. 146) Under the rules set for this perfect society, people are to practice the one profession at which they perform best. This profession also corresponds to a certain social class. Under no circumstances can one change this profession. Along with a set occupation, Plato has also determined that the perfect community would regulate what children (and the community) are taught, and to what the children will be exposed. In Plato's
…show more content…
Suppose a person is exposed to certain injustices that others commit. Plato feels that this exposure will plant a sort of seed inside a person's head. Thus leading him or her to commit an injustice of the same kind, or simply increasing the chance that a person will commit a similar act.
However, there is a huge hypocrisy (or disadvantage) within this theory. With Plato's definition of justice, a person should keep what is his or her own. Some would say that person's history is also their own. People have a right to know their history, and the truths about their community. Plato wants to take away passages in stories, lines within songs, and make all characters in plays perfect. This, in itself, is an injustice to a community. The stories, folklores, and fables of a community are meant to teach. In American society, children learn not to tell lies from the Boy Who Cried Wolf. The character in the story was not perfect and committed a "bad" act; however, children learn from his mistake. In Plato's perfect society, he takes away what the community rightfully owns.
When adopting Plato's suggested way of life, one must be prepared to sacrifice his or her past (neglecting his definition of justice). This crucial injustice is needed for the good of Plato's suggested community. Similarly, in the book Ishmael, the author tells a story about post-war Germany. In this story is a scenario where the Nazi's had won and wiped out all other
Open Document