The Role Of Justice In Plato's Politea

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Plato gives his main ideas on justice in his book Politea which can be considered as a book about justice providing an ideal model and organization of the ideal state. In the first book, Plato deals with the meaning of justice. Considering the answers that he got from his friends, such as justice is giving each man what he owns or justice is the advantage of the stronger, he presented arguments in favor of justice by examining the injustice; unjust man is ignorant, injustice produces internal disharmony (Politea, 352d). Furthermore, Plato associated the justice to the function of individuals within the state, because it is by justice that the state makes people more happy (Politea, 352b-c). Since everyone has a duty based on their talent, in just state each must be put in his or her own …show more content…
Nevertheless, his understanding of justice has an ambiguous character because the idea that “giving to one what he owes” occurs a problem of the value and prohibits the transition between classes. The equity, but not equality offered by Plato presupposed that no individual has an equal value within the ideal state, rather has only equal value merely within the equals. So, justice for Plato means to give someone what he deserves, however, the problem is that how to determine the value and the degree of merit, how can its be measured and by whom? As for Aristotle elaborating his ideas on justice in Nichomachean Ethics, provide a more detailed reflection on justice than Plato. Similar to Plato, Aristotle considered also justice as a virtue and moderation yet contrary to Plato, he thought that justice is not in the soul, but in the actions. Justice in the social sphere is the composition of individual virtues, it is where Aristotle distinguishes from Plato in terms of method. Aristotle emphasizes also the relational and reciprocal character of justice and stated that justice can be exercised only in relation to other individuals (NE, 1129b30).

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