Plato's Ideas Of Justice

What do we humans mean when we speak of ‘justice’? How is the word ‘justice’ even defined? For countless generations, prominent philosophers and average citizens alike have contemplated the social, spiritual, and moral implications of justice and what being ‘just’ entails. Some of the most notable thinkers and contributors to this age-old debate are no other than Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher, and Thomas More, the 16th century English philosopher. Both philosophers discuss and ponder justice in their respective works “The Republic” and “Utopia” where the two authors utilize thought-experiments. Through Plato’s character Socrates and More’s character Hythloday, the two philosophers create their ideal societies, where everyone and everything …show more content…
Unlike Utopian curriculum, the Socratic society values a balance of physical and mental intelligences rather than explicitly virtue. He stresses the importance of an education in gymnastics and music in order to develop a gentle, loyal aggression in his guardians, but neglects math, logic, physics, etc until he moves to a different class of people. It is clear that unlike Utopia, Socrates does not believe in the concept of a universal curriculum. He appears to only want the three classes to know what is relevant to them for them to function such as gymnastics for the guards and intensive philosophy and logic for the philosopher kings. This aligns with his theory that societal justice is simply everyone completing the task made for them with no intent on deviating from their assigned paths. However, Socrates does concur with the Utopian notion that children are supple and easily influenced, so he proposes that all negative influences be removed from his society altogether. While Utopia’s method of instilling virtue is to make unscrupulousness look foolish and childish, Socrates is a strong proponent of mass censorship. As Socrates discusses with Glaucon in Book II, “…a young person cannot judge what is allegorical and what is literal…it is important that the tales which the young first hear should be models of virtuous thoughts” (MIT Classics). Socrates encourages the burial of famous literary works by the likes of Homer and Hesiod, stating that the poems “include bad lies” (SCU Character Education) as well as portray the gods in a non-virtuous light. In essence, he wants to shelter the future generations from any possibility of negative influence in order to keep them on the path of the

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