Republic by Plato War in Relation to Justice, Injustice, and the Just City

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Republic by Plato War in Relation to Justice, Injustice, and the Just City

Beginning in Book I Socrates states clearly that injustice causes war and justice causes the opposite, but by Book V he seems to have a completely different perspective on whether war is just or not. His mind apparently begins to change in Book II when he introduces the second class of people, namely the guardians, with the purpose of defending the city. Throughout Books II, IV and V Socrates discusses the topic of war in light of justice and finally concludes that war is the outworking of the perfectly just city. In Book I, Socrates states that "Injustice... causes civil war, hatred, and fighting among themselves, while justice brings friendship and a
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In 373e Socrates says that the origin of war basically comes from "desires that are most of all responsible for the bad things that happen to cities and the individuals in them." Later in Book IV Socrates is explaining the three parts of the mind: reason, spirited, and desire. He says that a man is just and will act justly when the reason and spirited parts of the mind rule over the desire and keep it in balance. If desire ever takes control of the person's mind, then injustice will result, and the same will result if the workmen take control over the city. Tying this into the idea of war, remember Socrates stated in 373e (paraphrased) that origin of war is when bad desires take control of the individuals and the cities. This is consistent with his previous ideas about the cause of war being that of injustice. Although, Socrates seems to promote the idea of war when he later creates the "guardians" as the ones who will go to war and protect the city. Socrates and Glaucon agree in 374b that warfare is a profession. They go on to create a job description or profile for this second class of people in the make-believe city. Looking ahead to Book IV where Socrates concludes that a city is just when each person performs his or her own job, it would cause the city to be just when a guardian is performing his job by fighting in a war to protect the city. So here at the end of Book II,
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