Essay on Lessons of Plato's Republic

1718 Words May 15th, 2008 7 Pages
Plato’s Republic aims to teach us that justice, in itself, is worthwhile, and that it is better to be just than unjust. It is better to be just than unjust for the just person avoids a life of misery, and the just person lives a happy life. It also goes so far as to teach the value of moderation and self-control to citizens of democracy and democracy itself. In trying to create the argument of why it is better to be just than unjust, Plato first creates an analogy of the state/city to individuals. In the state, there exist different roles or classes. The city contains four virtues which are dispersed amongst the different classes in society. The four virtues consist of wisdom, courage, temperance/moderation, and justice (pg. 94-109) …show more content…
88). This could show how happiness may coincide with justice. The Guardian, which represents reason, exists by controlling his desires, and in turn is the happiest individual. One example of how unhappiness may spawn from excessive desires and wants would be with buyer’s remorse. A person who is ruled by desires lives an unjust and unhappy life. This can stand true when looking at an example such as buyer’s remorse. It is generally a known fact that buyer’s remorse is a deep regret and sadness felt from a particular purchase. Usually the purchase entails buying something the person does not need, but something they wanted. These gluttonous feelings, this desire to purchase an item that was not absolutely necessary, leads to this remorse. It is doubtful then that a person feeling remorse is a happy one. A person constantly defined by their strong desires and lack of reason, will live a life less happy than one who is not. A happy life is obviously a life that is sought after more so than an unhappy life, and if being just entails happiness, then being just is preferable over being unjust.
Earlier in Book II, Glaucon creates the argument that it is better to be unjust than just, and that the tyrant who is unjust reaps the rewards, while the just person receives scorn. One other argument presented that contradicts the benefits of being just involves the ring of Gyges (pg. 41-42) The story goes that Gyges comes into possession of a

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