What Is Glaucon 's Argument On The Republic? Do You Find It Persuasive?

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What is Glaucon’s argument in the Republic? Do you find it persuasive? Give reasons for your answer.

Glaucon’s argument in book II of Republic concerns the issue of justice. From the outset Glaucon explains that justice is a social contract that emerges - between people who are roughly equal in power - for the reason being that the pain of experiencing unjust actions is greater than the benefits accrued from inflicting it. (Plato, 2008) In this essay I will first outline his argument and explain how the parable of the Ring of Gyges attempts to support his theory. I will then argue that I do not find his argument plausible and it falls just short of persuading the reader.

Glaucon states that all goods can be divided into three classes: things that we desire for their consequences; goods that we desire for their own sake and things we desire both for their own sake and for their beneficial consequences. Socrates believes that justice is in the latter group. Glaucon asks Socrates to prove justice is in the last group and begins defending unjust actions in the strongest way possible (Plato, 2008).

Glaucon begins by arguing that people only act justly because they believe that the action will reap reward. He essentially argues that justice is a necessary evil and without it society would tear itself apart. He argues that justice is a social contract formed because the ‘disadvantages of suffering injury exceed the advantages of inflicting it’(Plato, 2008). Essentially he

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