Analysis Of Justice In Plato's The Republic

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Plato’s The Republic, Book I In Plato’s The Republic, one of the things Socrates, the main character analyzes is justice. Socrates questions justice in two aspects, such as what justice means and why people should be just. Socrates attempts to answer his questions about justice through his encounters with Cephalus, Thrasymachus, and Polermarchus. Through Socrates encounters he finds three distinctive definitions of justice. At the beginning of book one Socrates first encounters Cephalus who first brings up the issue of justice. Cephalus begins talking about wealth which leads him into talking about justice. Cephalus says that having wealth can help you when used the right way. When using wealth the right way, it allows you to be just by …show more content…
Polemarchus, Cephalus’ son, tells Socrates that Cephalus’ definition of justice was correct just as Simonides also states. Cephalus leaves and Socrates asks Polemarchus to interpret what Simonides definition of justice is. Polemarchus simply states that Simonides believes that justice is when you give back what you’ve taken from someone. Socrates acknowledges that Simonides is a smart man, but he still does not understand his reasoning. For Socrates knows that Simonides would not agree that a crazy man should be given his weapon back simply because the weapon belong to the man. Socrates knows that Simonides must have a motive for reasoning and must mean something else, something that maybe Socrates cannot understand. Polemarchus then tries to explain to Socrates that what Simonides really meant is that the friends should only do well to each other, and not hurt each other. So then Socrates questions Polermarchus again and asks him if that means that if Simonides also mean that you should do harm to your enemies. Polermarchus says that that’s exactly what Simonides means and again Socrates does not agree with this definition of justice. Socrates argues that you cannot give someone what is owed to them if there is nothing to be owed, which then makes that definition of giving people what is owed useless. For example, if a person is in good health a …show more content…
Thrasymachus is so worked up about that topic that he scares Socrates and Polemarchus a bit. He demands that Socrates give his own clear definition of justice rather than asking others what they think justice is. Socrates still scared by the way Thrasymachus is acting tells Thrasymachus that he just wants to discover what justice really is and could use input from a wise man like him. Thrasymachus knew Socrates would not give him an answer so he then decides to challenge Socrates. If Thrasymachus could define justice in a better way than Socrates then Socrates would owe him money. Socrates then tries to explain to Thrasymachus that he does not have any money so he cannot accept the challenge. Glaucon assures Socrates that he does have money and he will be behind him every step of the way. Socrates does not understand why Thrasymachus would want to challenge him, for he never stated that he had an answer for what justice mean. Thrasymachus accuses Socrates of being the kind of person that learns from others instead of giving his own opinion and trying to teach others. Socrates agrees that he learns from others but does not agree that he does not try to teach others. Thrasymachus and Socrates finally agree that if Thrasymachus wins the challenge that Socrates will have to praise him because Socrates does not have money. Thrasymachus gives his definition

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