The Republic By Plato

1385 Words6 Pages
In Book IV of The Republic, written by Plato, Socrates makes an argument for why an individual should strive to be just, or more importantly, why being just is more profitable than being unjust to the individual. The three parts of an individual: rational, spirited, and appetitive, must all strive to pursue truth in the just individual, but it is possible that this requirement may not be met while still profiting the individual. Through an analogy between justice in the city and justice in the individual, Socrates makes an argument that is impossible to accept on the basis of false assumption. The assumptions that the rational part of the individual must rule over the spirited and appetitive parts, and that just actions always engender justice and unjust actions engender injustice, can easily be shown to be false under certain circumstances. 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 rational component, as described by Socrates,

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