Matthew Reynolds. Professor Jose Haro. Philosophy 100.

1999 WordsApr 10, 20178 Pages
Matthew Reynolds Professor Jose Haro Philosophy 100 10 April 2017 Book I of the Republic Even though Book I of the Republic is a tedious and difficult text to get through, I did gain some insight from reading the text. What I got from reading Book I overall is that Plato’s argument is based on function to show that justice is virtue and makes the just person happy which makes justice valuable. I also got from the other attempts of defining function as Cephalus argues that justice is repaying debt and telling the truth, but Socrates’ counterexample shows that Cephalus’ definition is circumstantial. Polemarchus argues that justice is doing well to friends who are good and doing harm to enemies who are bad, but Socrates highlights that…show more content…
Socrates begins by asking the old man what advice he has to give the youth. Cephalus regards his reliance on wealth as a condition which enables the good person to lead a life of justice. Socrates, which recognizes that justice is an attribute of the good person, still sees Cephalus’ view as only possible with sufficient material wealth. Cephalus is not a reflective person, it is obviously suggested when he states that a person can satisfy the requirements of a just and good life by possessing the right disposition and equipped with adequate wealth. But that is all that his life experiences have shown him and unlike Socrates, Cephalus is not a man for whom unexamined life is not worth living. Therefore Socrates’ response to Cephalus is not a direct confrontation. Socrates comments that the value of talking to old men is that they may teach us something about the life they have traversed. They may tell us the benefits of old age, however, Plato exploits Cephalus’ account of old age to suggest that old age is not a source of wisdom. The wisdom and goodness which enables Cephalus to see his age as a beneficial state need not come with old age. To most men, as Cephalus recognizes, old age is a source of misery and resentment. Only those who have order and peace with themselves can “accept old age with equanimity.” Cephalus argues that finding old age as a “good thing” will depend on whether you have the disposition

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