Justice in Greek Philosophy

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Philosophy
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Greek philosophy is a philosophy that many concede has shaped the whole of Western philosophy ever since its inception. Alfred Whitehead noted this fact albeit with exaggeration when he stated that Western philosophy is nothing but a string of footnotes attributed to Plato…

Introduction


Plato, one of the Greek's ancient philosophers, ideally believed that sense-gained knowledge remains impure and confused, and that only the soul that contemplates and turns away from thinking carnally can receive true knowledge. He also believed that only the soul can know real essences of things, acquire knowledge of forms since the world as seen by the eye is nothing short of an imperfect copy (Bakalis, 2005).
The immense dialogue in the Republic is opened by questioning the nature of justice. Several definitions of justice are proposed which are found to be inadequate except that at least more emphasis is put on Sophist, Thrasymachus' definition. According to this young man, justice is anything the strongest man decides that it is. Further, he states that whatever is in the strong man's interest is just. This argument is dismissed by Socrates after proving that strong personalities rarely get to know whatever is in their best interest; this cannot be just since justice in itself is a virtuous (Griffin, Boardman & Murray, 2001). Plato had quite a different view of justice; he believed that an answer exists that derives basically from reality's nature. In his republic, justice is defined as wisdom, courage and self-control; something close to righteousness and morality.
In Greek, the Republic refers to the character or order of a political society; its regi ...
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