Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote “One man’s justice is another’s injustice.” This statement quite adequately describes the relation between definitions of justice presented by Polemarchus and Thrasymachus in Book I of the Republic. Polemarchus initially asserts that justice is “to give to each what is owed” (Republic 331d), a definition he picked up from Simonides. Then, through the unrelenting questioning of Socrates, Polemarchus’ definition evolves into “doing good to friends and harm to enemies” (Republic 332d), but this definition proves insufficient to Socrates also. Eventually, the two agree “that it is never just to harm anyone” (Republic 335d). This definition is fundamental to the idea of a
Question: What is Socrates’ notion of justice. Is his concept of justice universally valid? Explain why or why not.
The Unjust even went as far as to state that Just was “ancient”. Although these traditions and ideas may be fading, they are not necessarily wrong. However, Unjust speech uses the fact that justice is ceasing to exist to imply that it is of no importance and does not necessitate a role on Greek society. The novelty of the Unjust speech allows it to flourish and triumph over the Just speech.
Justice in our times is almost completely different from what the ancient Greeks considered as justice. Justice, today can be defined as the quality of being just, the principle of moral rightness. In the ancient Greek era and most certainly during the time when the story of the Odyssey happened; Justice was frequently instantaneous and severe, almost unswerving. Odysseus is sometimes seen as being the one carrying out justice or being the one affected by justice. In the Odyssey, we see justice as revenge, and areas in which we can use to say that Odysseus is a just man.
As a defender of civic virtue, the significance of obligation and authority of one’s representative government epitomizes the magnitude of respect that Socrates had for Athenian Jurisprudence, irrespective of the fact that he was prosecuted against. In the accounts of the Apology and Crito, there exists a plethora of evidence that demonstrate Socrates’s adherence of institutionalized authority. His loyalty of the Athenian State derives from his notion that the obligation to surrender to the law manifests a just society. One may ask, “how is it possible for a persecuted man to continue to profess allegiance to a polity that sought his trial and execution”? Though many would not have the capacity to sustain such integrity, Socrates had his reasons in
Socrates was a great philosopher of the Greek world. He was quite an atypical and distinctive person. Being different from all the other philosophers of the land, Socrates was teaching his students ideas totally out of the ordinary from what the society believed was right. As a result, he displeased many people so much that they decided to get rid of him. Socrates was put to trial, accused of spoiling the youth of Athens, tried and sentenced to death. His personal defense is described in works two of his students: Xenophon and Plato. Both of them wrote papers called Apology, which is the Greek word for “defense”. In this essay I used Apology by Plato as the main resource, since it contents a more full account of the trial of Socrates and
The position Thrasymachus takes on the definition of justice, as well as its importance in society, is one far differing from the opinions of the other interlocutors in the first book of Plato’s Republic. Embracing his role as a Sophist in Athenian society, Thrasymachus sets out to aggressively dispute Socrates’ opinion that justice is a beneficial and valuable aspect of life and the ideal society. Throughout the course of the dialogue, Thrasymachus formulates three major assertions regarding justice. These claims include his opinion that “justice is nothing other than the advantage of the stronger,” “it is just to obey the rulers,” and “justice is really the good of another […] and harmful to the one who obeys and serves.” Socrates
In Plato’s: The Apology Socrates was charged and put on trial for impiety, as well as accused of committing many other crimes. I will first explain the most important issues of why Socrates was sent to death. Then I will argue the position that Socrates is innocent, and should not be have been found guilty.
Socrates was a former infantryman, having fought in three campaigns during the war with Sparta, so it is no surprise that he believed justice should not be invoked by the citizens’ pleading. He
In most circumstances ending the life of a criminal as their punishment usually reflects the magnitude of the crimes that they committed, crimes that often involve the deaths of others or equally heinous actions, yet one historical example stands out for not following this rule. In 399 BC, in Athens, Greece, two men put a meek philosopher named Socrates on trial for two crimes he purportedly committed: not following state gods and corrupting the youth. These charges alleged against Socrates reflected the general sentiment of Athenians regarding Socrates; namely that he was an atheistic charlatan. The jury found Socrates guilty of these crimes and executed, a punishment that does not logically befit the supposed crimes that he committed. No sane or logical jury would find him guilty of such vague claims, especially in such a vehemently democratic polis as Athens, and they would never have executed Socrates for such meager offenses, nonetheless he was. Execution was especially unnecessary because Socrates himself was on the verge of death; he was in his seventies in the Greek era, so he was bound to die soon anyways. The central focus, then, is of understanding how on Earth the birthplace of democracy could have gone so awry and when they tried, convicted, and executed Socrates. Athens sentenced Socrates to death because his beliefs were against the flow of the changing Athenian ideological landscape, people regarded him as a pompous, elitist charlatan who impugned their core
In the Plato’s Republic the reader sees what Socrates has to say about justice; “The injuring of another can be in no case just.” The people of Athens has to realize that no real justice comes from hurting people whether that be physically, mentally, or even spiritually. According to what Socrates said, if the assembly of Athens decides to follow the Thirty’s great injustice with even more injustice the citizens there will never
Justice can be defined in multiple ways. Plato’s Republic has very interesting and perhaps somewhat controversial definitions of justice. One of these definitions of justice is from Polemarchus’ interpretation of Simonides’ idea with some modification as the story goes on. According to Polemarchus, justice can be defined as doing good to friends and harm to enemies. (332 d 5 - 7). Below, we will observe the working definition of what justice means in relation to friends v.s. enemies, examine all aspects of the argument, explore Polemarchus’ example of a scenario(s) where this definition of justice applies, and observe a counterargument to Polemarchus’ argument coined by Socrates and what exactly that means for individuals and cities. It is
At least once in our lives we will face a situation where we have to pick the best from two worst circumstances. It might not be a life or death situation but it won’t be an easy decision to make either. But we do choose what we think is the best for us. We all must have heard about the famous play Antigone by Sophocles and the Apology by Plato. We find Antigone and Socrates in a similar dilemma as we read about them. They both face an ethical tragedy where they don’t know what the right thing to do is but they still chose what’s best for them. Justice involves a critical role in both of their lives. How might one define justice? Does it vary person to person or country to country? Antigone and Socrates both have their own view on justice.
In the opening two books of the Republic, Thrasymachus, along with Glaucon and Adeimantus, proposes fascinating arguments against the definition of justice. According to Thraysmachus, Justice, by its nature, is nothing other than the advantage of the stronger. Despite Socrates’s strong disagreement, many just and unjust incidents in Amazing Grace serve as great examples to support Thrasymachus’s view. In the following paragraphs, I am going to first summarize the arguments from Thrasymachus and Glaucon, and then analyze how the examples from Amazing Grace validate the traditional definition of justice.