Philosophy 1- The Plato Republic

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Philosophy 1- The Plato Republic

435d-441c and 588c-e

In 435d-441c, Plato applies the word justice to individuals and the society at large, and his overall strategy in The Republic is explicating the core notions of political justice. According to Plato, political justice is being inherently structural. Three classes of people form the society- producers, auxiliaries, and guardians. In this perspective, Plato argues that the three society classes have analogs in every individual soul where the soul is a tripartite entity. With the just society, a just individual is formed whose soul is fixed in the requisite relationships of influence and power. At 588c-e, Socrates sketched a tripartite model of the soul. The first level featured a monster with many heads (representing intemperance and irrationality), the second one existed a lion symbolizing hubris, aggression, and appetite. On the third level was a man depicting the logos and reasoning embodiment. Subjectively, the 435d-441c account greatly help us in understanding the society and the world around us properly.


In 451b-457b, Socrates is asked by Adeimantus to elaborate about community of women and children which he had discussed earlier. Socrates refers these previous analogies as watchdogs, and asserts that women in the society should get trained and given similar duties and opportunities to men. Socrates argues that men and women are not of different natures and thus women have the abilities to undertake any occupation performed by men. Therefore, it is quite natural for women to serve as guardians, since this is among the many areas which they may greatly excel. Naturally, men will outshine women at every assignment/task as well as being stronger. But, Socrates emphasizes that training women in every task would improve their productivity state. Socrates argument sheds light that there is need for social equality, fairness, and justice. Discrimination against women in the ground of sexual prejudices should be abolished, and women be given similar opportunities to men.

Accounts of justice in Book 1 of the Republic

In Book 1 of the Republic, Socrates argues that he doesn’t know that he knows not, what is justice. In Cephalus account, justice refers to living up to one’s legal obligations and upholding honesty. However, Socrates dismantles this formulation by arguing that justice is nothing more than being honest and showing honesty. Polemarchus defines justice as the act of owing colleagues help, and foes arm. As per Socrates, Polemarchus take on justice has many inconsistencies by stating that judging people on the basis of friendship or enmity is fallible. In Thrasymachus account, Justice is whatever the stronger party has interest in at any given country; thus justice is affected through power by those in power. In his argument, those in power make laws which must be obeyed by the weaker subjects in a state. Socrates however is against this definition. Socrates argues that rulers may pass bad laws that do not serve their interest either. The three accounts help people in understanding justice, from different perspectives.

Justice can be predicated of individuals and of collectives

In Plato’s The Republic, justice is one of the major attributes of a perfect society. Justice breeds a good community, but injustice creates a bad society. In the republic, justice is predictable- say as a collective family but not for individuals. Justice entails doing one’s own business and avoiding busy bodying.  Under a perfect society (collectives) rules, people practice professions which they best perform. Such professions correspond to given social class of collectives. For example, the acronym “Canada is just,” this is based the government’s ability to regulate people behavior. In the modern reality, justice can be viewed individually, where a person is considered justice based on their acts. For example, the stance “Jane is just,” could be attributed of her behavior, ideas, and acts. Subjectively, I do not find this helpful as justice cannot be viewed as a collective act; it only fits in individual cases.

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