Socrates Definition Of Justice In Plato's Republic

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Wise and humble to his admirers and self-righteous heretic to his critics, Socrates was a polarizing figure who made it his mission to understand what justice truly was and what it meant to live a just life. Socrates was a willing to engage with nearly anyone about these philosophical questions, however too often these discussions would lead to inconclusive answers. In the Republic, an account of Socrates written by one of his own followers known as Plato, Socrates finally offers an answer to his own question in the form of an analogy where he envisions a tripartite political state and draws parallels to the human soul and how it, too, is tripartite. Socrates’ analogy is compelling, in-depth, and perhaps the clearest unconditional definition of justice provided by any of the characters who attempt to provide a definition of justice. However, there is evidence that these views are not Socrates’ own, and that instead, Plato is using Socrates’ character to express his own political views about what a truly just society is like. Examining Socrates’ …show more content…
A worthy comparison to make is that between the Republic and another work that expressed similar views concerning governmental rule, the Leviathan. Written by Thomas Hobbes, a 15th century enlightenment thinker, Leviathian expresses a lack of faith in the individual and that without a hierarchy, society would crumble and humans would succumb to their basest desires. Similarly, Plato’s tripartite state has each class be kept in check by virtues to them by each succeeding class that prevents them from falling back to their vices, such as temperance being taught to the laborers so that they do not desire beyond what they need, and the military class being enticed with “flights of fancy” so as to instill courage and

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