Plato 's Theory Of Political Justice

1279 Words Nov 11th, 2014 6 Pages
The word “justice” is used by Plato to relate to both societies and individuals, and Plato uses Socrates to convey his overall approach in Republic IV – first, to outline the primary notion of political justice, and second to convey a relationship of individual justice. Socrates defines political justice as being intrinsically structural. A society consists of three primary classes of individuals—producers, auxiliaries, and guardians. The “just” society exists when there is a harmonious and balanced relationship between these three classes. Each of these groups must do their particular job, and that job only, and each group must be in the right balance of power in relation to the other. In this section of Republic, Socrates sets out to demonstrate that the three classes of society have similarities to the soul of every individual. In other words, the soul, like the city, is a three-way entity. The just and fair individual is comparable with the just and fair society - the three parts of a man’s soul are set in the required balance of power and influence. However, in order to make this argument viable, Socrates must show that there truly are three parts of the soul, and that there are three separate entities that influence these parts. Socrates begins his case for the tripartite soul by setting up an individuation criterion. He starts by stating that the same thing cannot be affected in two opposite ways at the same time (436C). As pairs of opposites, Socrates…

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