Plato concludes Book IV by asserting that Socrates’s argument reveals justness to be more profitable to the individual than unjustness. By being a just individual, one has a healthy soul, and by being an unjust individual, one has an unhealthy soul. If health is something an individual desires to have, then it only makes sense that being just is most profitable. Before it is possible to assess Socrates’ argument, it must first be explained how he views the human soul and it’s components. Socrates defines three parts to the human soul: rational, spirited and appetitive.
The additional position in which Socrates resides, is that of the good man. As he elaborates himself, a good man is one who acts justly and keeps the good interest of others, as well as himself, always in mind (Plato). So a good man acts according to this mindset, acting justly in his treatment towards others, but also in his treatment of himself. Though he may not see the just treatment of himself as the end towards which his action is intended, such potentially altruistic consideration of the
Socrates claims that an individual is just when each of the three parts of the soul does its duty, and all three parts are in harmony (441e). More specifically, the calculating part should rule the soul, the spirited part should assist the calculating part, and the desiring part should follow the commands of the calculating part (442c-d). A just individual 's action is guided by wisdom and knowledge while an unjust individual is filled with ignorance and opinion (443e-444a; 582a). Because their souls are just, just individuals should rule the city so that the city will also be just. This is because Socrates thinks the city and the soul are isomorphic (368d-e). If Socrates’ definition of justice in the individual is correct, then any action of the rulers should be just.
In response to Thrasymachus, Glaucon, and Adeimantus, Socrates seeks to show that it is always in an individual’s interest to be just, rather than unjust. Thus, one of the most critical problems regarding the Republic is whether Socrates defends justice successfully or not. Socrates offers three arguments in favor of the just life over the unjust life: first, the just man is wise and good, and the unjust man is ignorant and bad; second, injustice produces internal disharmony which prevents effective actions; and lastly, virtue is excellence at a thing’s function and the just person lives a happier life than the unjust person, since he performs the various functions of the human soul well. Socrates is displeased with the argument because a sufficient explanation of justice is essential before reaching a conclusion as to whether or not the just life is better than the unjust life. He is asked to support justice for itself, not for the status that follows. He propositions to look for justice in the city first and then to continue by analogy to discover justice in the individual. This approach will allow for a distinct judgment on the question of whether the just person is happier than the unjust person. Socrates commences by exploring the roots of political life and constructs a hypothetical just city that gratifies only fundamental human necessities. Socrates argues
Justice in the soul is not an easily understood concept. The definition of justice according to Socrates builds upon itself throughout the first four books of the novel. In book one, Socrates explains that justice allows us to be happy. He says that being just is a part of becoming happy and asserts that it is even happiness itself. In book two, Glaucon adds more to the definition of justice and claims that justice is always the right choice, regardless of whatever benefits other choices might offer. The final piece to this definition comes in book four where Socrates shows us that justice allows people to be excellent which in turn creates happiness. All of these exchanges come together to create one complete definition of justice in the soul. Based upon these three assertions, I believe that justice in the soul is essentially like our health. Our happiness is created when things
Answer: For Socrates, justice in the individual is harmony among the three principles of the soul, achieved by rationality, or reason the wisest faculty (in terms of the State, the guardians).
Despite his emphasis of justice as a function of the perfect state, Socrates also deals with justice as a personal virtue. He finds that there is a parallel between the organization of the state and the individual. Just as there are three virtues other than justice, Socrates finds three parts in the individual soul: Sensation, emotion, and intelligence. The just person then must have balance between these aspects. Each must function in moderation to contribute to the health of the whole. Appetite and sensation are matters of desire. Desire must be subordinate to reason, or else they will throw the
What is justice? According to Socrates, to be just is what every individual is conditioned to strive for. Those who act unjustly are guided by ignorance and only they themselves believe they are doing good. A core ideal of Socrates was that everyone should do good and avoid wrong. His views on law and justice are shaped around this ideal.
Socrates believed that to have a constant obligation as an individual to act ethically, and then pick and choose in which situations to act as such is morally reprehensible. He argued that true morality means that one does not act one way in a certain context and another way in another situation. Socrates asked “Do we say that there is no way that one must ever willingly commit injustice, or does it depend upon circumstance? Is it true, as we have often agreed before, that there is no sense in which an act of injustice is good or honorable?” (88). Although Socrates does not assert his opinion in anything but a question, it is clear that he believes that it would not make sense to know that one should live morally, and then choose in which circumstances to abide by that knowledge.
In his philosophy, Plato places a large emphasis on the importance of the idea of justice. This emphasis can be seen especially in his work ‘The Republic’ where, through his main character Socrates, he attempts to define the nature of justice and to justify this definition. One of the methods used by Socrates to strengthen or rather explain his argument on justice is through his famous city-soul analogy, where a comparison between a just city and a just soul/individual is made. Through this analogy, Socrates attempts to explain the nature of justice, how it is the virtue of the soul and is therefore intrinsically valuable to the
According to Socrates one of the most important things that identify with human being is their desire. Socrates argues that desire that can change people minds quickly and very abnormally. The three-part division of the soul is crucial to Plato’s overall project of offering the same sort of explication of justice whether applied to societies or individuals.
This paper argues that Socrates makes a plausible case for justice. Socrates raised two main questions in the first two books of Plato’s Republic, what is justice? And why should we act justly? Thrasymachus and Glaucon both have different and more negative views of justice than Socrates. Throughout books one and two, Socrates, Glaucon and Thrasymachus go back and forth discussing the definition and application of justice in society. He starts his discussions with Glaucon and Thrasymachus by stating simply, “What is justice?”
Book II of The Republic by Plato showcases the two very different views of Socrates and Glaucon in regards to the account of nature and origin of justice. Socrates and Glaucon discuss the theory presented by Glaucon that states that injustice is something that is intrinsically desired by all humans. Glaucon presents this argument to Socrates in order to understand and defend justice for its own sake. Glaucon seeks reassurance from Socrates that justice is not just only good for the positive consequences that it produces, so he asks Socrates to explain that justice is desirable for its own sake and, additionally, the consequences that it provides. In the defense of justice, Socrates begins to explain that justice is a virtue that needs to be found in the individual as well as the state. Socrates believes that true happiness can only exist with a true set of virtues that are justice and respectable morals. Socrates’ assumption is on the fact that a man committing unjust actions will never be able to have complete satisfaction with his life if he has achieved everything through unjust actions because he cannot fully claim his accomplishments. Through examination of the assumptions of both arguments presented, Glaucon’s opinion on justice is superior to the views of Socrates. Glaucon’s presumptuous claim that humans are innately greedy is able to provide an understanding that justice is only a social contract for the weaker people of society by handicapping the strength of the
On this part of the meaning of justice Socrates offers a completely different view. He contradicted Thrasymachus’ views by stating that what is in the interest of the strong may not be that obvious after all, and that by making mistakes, the justice of the powerful has worked against his interest. Socrates also later offers a view on the definition of justice that states justice is “the right condition of the human soul”.
Socrates’ sense of virtue, as established in Plato’s Apology of Socrates, Crito, and Symposium collectively, revolves around the pursuit of wisdom, knowledge, and justice, all in an effort to benefit the soul rather than the physical body. Given that this oftentimes contradicts standard values of honor and beauty, Socrates is targeted by many of those around him who oppose his ideas and ways of thinking, especially since the youth begin to criticize the elders’ concern for the trappings of honor and beauty rather than for interior virtues. Unlike Socrates’ case, Aeneas’ sense of virtue complies with the standard societal definition, emphasizing pietas, or respect for the gods and dedication to family and community. In his efforts to