Model of Justice in Plato's The Republic Essay

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Model of Justice in Plato's The Republic In what is perhaps his most well-known text, The Republic, Plato explores the fundamental concept of justice, how it is observed in the world, and its application to the lives of men. When he identifies the good in Book VI, which is reality and knowledge in their true forms, Plato also describes the visual world of shadows and false reality that people perceive and is cast by the sun. What follows from these definitions is that, while justice is a concept that exists autonomously from injustice and other fleeting conditions, injustice requires justice to be a medium for it to exist, develop, and spread itself. While it might be intuitive to a person that there is a…show more content…
Though the whole of The Republic is an investigation of what justice is, the relationship between it and justice is derived from the virtue of sophrosyne. This quality of moderation and balance in a person is what Plato considers essential to the just man. He explains, “The reality is that justice is not a matter of external behavior but the way a man privately and truly governs his inner self. The just man does not permit the various parts of his soul to interfere with one another or usurp each other’s functions. He has set his own life in order.” (Plato, 137) That which is good withstands external pressures so that its essential quality is unchanged. Similarly, the just man is identified not by that which we visually observe about him, but the integrity of his internal composure. We have determined, therefore, that it is what is good about the just man that makes him just. Having established this point about the just person, it is sensible to consider the conditions under which a person becomes unjust. The development of injustice in the individual occurs when we do not have the internal balance that is indicative of a just person, but rather are excessive in some aspect of our psychology. Our psychology is based on three aspects of the soul which determine how a person will think and behave. Plato explains, “…[T]he soul is composed of at least two distinct parts. One is the reasoning part. The other

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