Because the tyrant can only think in terms of servant and master, he has no equals whom he can befriend, and with no friends the tyrant is robbed of freedom. This is the first proof that it is better to be just than unjust. The second proof is derived from the tripartite theory of soul. The wisdom-loving soul is best equipped to judge what is best through reason, and the wise individual judges wisdom to be best, then honor, then desire. This is the just proportion for the city or soul and stands opposite to tyranny, which is entirely satiated on base desires.
The third proof follows from this.
He describes how the soul can be misled into experiencing false pleasure: for example, a lack of pain can seem pleasurable by comparison to a worse state. True pleasure is had by being fulfilled by things that fit one's nature. Wisdom is the most fulfilling and is the best guide, so the only way for the three drives of the soul to function properly and experience the truest pleasure is by allowing wisdom to lead.
To conclude the third proof, the wisdom element is best at providing pleasure, while tyranny is worst because it is furthest removed from wisdom. He then gives the example of a chimera to further illustrate justice and the tripartite soul. The discussion concludes by refuting Thrasymachus' argument and designating the most blessed life as that of the just man and the most miserable life as that of the unjust man.
Concluding a theme brought up most explicitly in the Analogies of the Sun and Divided Line in Book VI, Socrates finally rejects any form of imitative art and concludes that such artists have no place in the just city. He continues on to argue for the immortality of the psyche and even espouses a theory of reincarnation. He finishes by detailing the rewards of being just, both in this life and the next.
Artists create things but they are only different copies of the idea of the original.
1. Overview of the Dialogue
Thus every sort of confusion is revealed within us; and this is that weakness of the human mind on which the art of conjuring and deceiving by light and shadow and other ingenous devices imposes, having an effect upon us like magic. He speaks about illusions and confusion. Things can look very similar, but be different in reality. Because we are human, at times we cannot tell the difference between the two. There are jests which you would be ashamed to make yourself, and yet on the comic stage, or indeed in private, when you hear them, you are greatly amused by them, and are not at all disgusted at their unseemliness—the case of pity is repeated—there is a principle in human nature which is disposed to raise a laugh, and this which you once restrained by reason, because you were afraid of being thought a buffoon, is now let out again; and having stimulated the risible faculty at the theatre, you are betrayed unconsciously to yourself into playing the comic poet at home.
With all of us, we may approve of something, as long we are not directly involved with it. If we joke about it, we are supporting it. And the same may be said of lust and anger and all the other affections, of desire and pain and pleasure, which are held to be inseparable from every action—in all of them poetry feeds and waters the passions instead of drying them up; she lets them rule, although they ought to be controlled, if mankind are ever to increase in happiness and virtue.
Sometimes we let our passions rule our actions or way of thinking, although they should be controlled, so that we can increase our happiness. Three interpretations of the Republic are presented in the following section; they are not exhaustive in their treatments of the work, but are examples of contemporary interpretation. The core of the second part is the Allegory of the Cave and the discussion of the theory of ideal forms. The paradigm of the city—the idea of the Good , the Agathon —has manifold historical embodiments, undertaken by those who have seen the Agathon, and are ordered via the vision.
The centerpiece of the Republic , Part II, nos. The centerpiece is preceded and followed by the discussion of the means that will secure a well-ordered polis City. Part II, no. It describes a partially communistic polis. In part II, the Embodiment of the Idea , is preceded by the establishment of the economic and social orders of a polis part I , followed by an analysis part III of the decline the order must traverse.
The three parts compose the main body of the dialogues, with their discussions of the "paradigm", its embodiment, its genesis, and its decline. The introduction and the conclusion are the frame for the body of the Republic.
The discussion of right order is occasioned by the questions: "Is justice better than injustice? The prologue is a short dialogue about the common public doxai opinions about justice. Based upon faith, and not reason, the Epilogue describes the new arts and the immortality of the soul. Leo Strauss identified a four-part structure to the Republic , [ citation needed ] perceiving the dialogues as a drama enacted by particular characters, each with a particular perspective and level of intellect:.
In the first book, two definitions of justice are proposed but deemed inadequate.
Plato, Republic, Book 2
Yet he does not completely reject them, for each expresses a commonsense notion of justice that Socrates will incorporate into his discussion of the just regime in books II through V. At the end of Book I, Socrates agrees with Polemarchus that justice includes helping friends, but says the just man would never do harm to anybody. Thrasymachus believes that Socrates has done the men present an injustice by saying this and attacks his character and reputation in front of the group, partly because he suspects that Socrates himself does not even believe harming enemies is unjust.
Thrasymachus gives his understanding of justice and injustice as "justice is what is advantageous to the stronger, while injustice is to one's own profit and advantage". Socrates then asks whether the ruler who makes a mistake by making a law that lessens their well-being, is still a ruler according to that definition.
Thrasymachus agrees that no true ruler would make such an error. This agreement allows Socrates to undermine Thrasymachus' strict definition of justice by comparing rulers to people of various professions. Thrasymachus consents to Socrates' assertion that an artist is someone who does his job well, and is a knower of some art, which allows him to complete the job well.
In so doing Socrates gets Thrasymachus to admit that rulers who enact a law that does not benefit them firstly, are in the precise sense not rulers. Thrasymachus gives up, and is silent from then on.
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Socrates has trapped Thrasymachus into admitting the strong man who makes a mistake is not the strong man in the precise sense, and that some type of knowledge is required to rule perfectly. However, it is far from a satisfactory definition of justice. At the beginning of Book II, Plato's two brothers challenge Socrates to define justice in the man, and unlike the rather short and simple definitions offered in Book I, their views of justice are presented in two independent speeches.
Glaucon's speech reprises Thrasymachus' idea of justice; it starts with the legend of Gyges , who discovered a ring that gave him the power to become invisible. Glaucon uses this story to argue that no man would be just if he had the opportunity of doing injustice with impunity. With the power to become invisible, Gyges is able to seduce the queen, murder the king, and take over the kingdom.
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Glaucon argues that the just as well as the unjust man would do the same if they had the power to get away with injustice exempt from punishment. The only reason that men are just and praise justice is out of fear of being punished for injustice.
(Par., Phil., Symp., Phdr.; Alc. I, II, Hipp., Am.)
The law is a product of compromise between individuals who agree not to do injustice to others if others will not do injustice to them. Glaucon says that if people had the power to do injustice without fear of punishment, they would not enter into such an agreement. Glaucon uses this argument to challenge Socrates to defend the position that the unjust life is better than the just life. Adeimantus adds to Glaucon's speech the charge that men are only just for the results that justice brings one fortune, honor, reputation.
Adeimantus challenges Socrates to prove that being just is worth something in and of itself, not only as a means to an end. Socrates says that there is no better topic to debate. In response to the two views of injustice and justice presented by Glaucon and Adeimantus, he claims incompetence, but feels it would be impious to leave justice in such doubt. Thus the Republic sets out to define justice.
Given the difficulty of this task as proven in Book I, Socrates in Book II leads his interlocutors into a discussion of justice in the city, which Socrates suggests may help them see justice not only in the person, but on a larger scale, "first in cities searching for what it is; then thusly we could examine also in some individual, examining the likeness of the bigger in the idea of the littler" e—a. For over two and a half millennia, scholars have differed on the aptness of the city-soul analogy Socrates uses to find justice in Books II through V.
Socrates' definition of justice is never unconditionally stated, only versions of justice within each city are "found" and evaluated in Books II through Book V.
Dialogues Of Plato
Socrates constantly refers the definition of justice back to the conditions of the city for which it is created. He builds a series of myths, or noble lies , to make the cities appear just, and these conditions moderate life within the communities. The "earth born" myth makes all men believe that they are born from the earth and have predestined natures within their veins. Accordingly, Socrates defines justice as "working at that which he is naturally best suited", and "to do one's own business and not to be a busybody" a—b and goes on to say that justice sustains and perfects the other three cardinal virtues : Temperance, Wisdom, and Courage, and that justice is the cause and condition of their existence.
Socrates does not include justice as a virtue within the city, suggesting that justice does not exist within the human soul either, rather it is the result of a "well ordered" soul. A result of this conception of justice separates people into three types; that of the soldier, that of the producer, and that of a ruler. If a ruler can create just laws, and if the warriors can carry out the orders of the rulers, and if the producers can obey this authority, then a society will be just. The city is challenged by Adeimantus and Glaucon throughout its development: Adeimantus cannot find happiness in the city, and Glaucon cannot find honor and glory.
This hypothetical city contains no private property, no marriage, or nuclear families. These are sacrificed for the common good and doing what is best fitting to one's nature. In Book V Socrates addresses the question of "natural-ness" of and possibility for this city, concluding in Book VI, that the city's ontological status regards a construction of the soul, not of an actual metropolis.
The rule of philosopher-kings appear as the issue of possibility is raised. It is as though in a well-ordered state, justice is not even needed, since the community satisfies the needs of humans. In terms of why it is best to be just rather than unjust for the individual, Plato prepares an answer in Book IX consisting of three main arguments.