The Importance Of Justice In Book 1 Of Plato's Republic

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In Book I of Plato’s Republic, Socrates has a discussion with Thrasymachus regarding the definition of justice. Additionally, the discussions with Thrasymachus are extremely important because the rest of the Republic sets out to answer the challenge set by what he claims. (Annas 34). Socrates wants to refute Thrasymachus view, which claims that the life of injustice is more worthwhile than the life of justice. (Annas 8). Thrasymachus presents three distinct notions about justice: firstly, justice is the advantage of the stronger; secondly, justice is the advantage of the ruler; finally, justice is the advantage of another person. Thrasymachus third claim is intended to clarify the first two. However, Thrasymachus’ claim has an issue regarding …show more content…
Likewise, Plato compares him to a wild beast seeking to devour Socrates. (336b). The image of Thrasymachus begins with can be understood as Plato as viewing the real Thrasymachus and other moral skeptics as shallow and stupid. Additionally, it seems clear that Plato intends for the reader to dislike and despise him. For example, he is shown as rude and overbearing, insulting Socrates and accusing him of hypocrisy, losing with bad grace and vulgarly demanding money. However, there are two reasons for being dissatisfied with this analysis. Firstly, there is not enough evidence about the historical Thrasymachus to say whether his ideas were anything like that in the Republic, or whether Plato is creating a deliberately confused position for him to hold. Secondly, is that there is an unavoidable pointlessness about this practice. (Annas 35). Moreover, it is evident that Plato took Thrasymachus to be defending a theory which was a real and dangerous alternative to what people took to be the truth about justice. If Plato deliberately presented the opposition as being weaker than he took it to be, then he would be guilty of intellectual dishonesty. (Annas …show more content…
In response to Socrates, Thrasymachus refutes (P3) that it is possible for rulers to make laws incorrectly. Thrasymachus reply consists of denying that a ruler, insofar as they are the ruler, will ever make an error and precisely does what is best for themselves. Additionally, he states that his subjects must do what the ruler declares. Thus, Thrasymachus reaffirms that justice is to do what is to the advantage of the stronger.

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