Happiness And Justice In Plato's Republic

1622 Words 7 Pages
In Plato’s ‘Republic’, happiness and justice are deeply questioned and analyzed as being interconnected. The broadest assumption of a happy person is one who is most wealthy and with very much power. This is almost an unspoken truth, however, does it really work out? One of the most famous Greek philosophers was Socrates, a son of a stonemason who encouraged discussion among many elite, powerful men. In the Republic written by Plato, the idea of a happy person is dissected thoroughly by Socrates and explained. He makes the argument that the happiest person is the just rather than the unjust. He does this in many ways by explaining; what is a just man, pleasure, tyranny, a city etc. Thus, in Plato’s Republic, Socrates demonstrates a successful …show more content…
His main goal is to show the reader or his audience that it pays to be a just person even if the reward is not instant. In Socrates mind a just man is a philosopher king, who is essentially a smart thinker who does what is best for the community. When everyone follows this social order that Socrates proposes, it is possible for everyone to play their part and this gives way for the leaders to be philosopher kings who are the most intelligent thinkers. This ‘Kaliipolis’ is a city where the rulers crave knowledge, unlike a democracy where the ‘mob’ mentality rules causing the unfit to rule. He explains by stating, “Don’t understand that a little captain must pay attention to all seasons of the year, the sky, the star, to winds, and all that pertains to his craft, if he’s really to be the ruler of the ship” (Plato, 2004,448). In this passage he explains that the philosopher kings understand everything and specialization is key to a just city. When sailing a ship, the men choose the captain who is knowledgeable rather than the most important person or democratic way of choosing. This philosopher king must recognize good and bad and must “love wisdom”. To be virtuous and good, you must be knowledgeable which is just. Justice is keeping everyone in his or her place, which means there is a social order, which brings out the bets and most just in a person. This just person is happy doing what they are good at and helping the community. A sense of community is very significant in happiness for this beautiful city. Glaucon argues in Book II that injustice is almost a necessary evil to be successful in life. He tells the tale of the ring of Gyges, where a man is given a ring that makes him invisible. The story argues that if given this power why act justly when there are no repercussions. (Plato, Republic) This is when Socrates explains how specialization produces a need to be just for the

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