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Justice or moral uprightness of human soul according to Plato - Essay Example

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Justice or moral uprightness of human soul according to Plato
Plato’s Republic is one of the foremost philosophical texts of the ancient world. While the text examines a broad array of philosophical issues, one of its primary considerations is the nature of morality…
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Justice or moral uprightness of human soul according to Plato

Conversely, Plato (through Socrates) makes the contention that justice and morality are not socially constructed entities, but instead exist objectively. In this instance, humans should adhere to justice and morality regardless of the consequences. This essay considers these points in relation to the Republic and presents my own position on the debate. From the very opening of the Republic Plato sets about establishing the notion of justice and considering why it should be followed. One of the first aspects that are addressed in terms of justice concerns its very nature. In Book I Cephalus argues that justice constitutes following the laws and legal regulations that are established. Socrates refutes this claim arguing instead that while it would be legal to supply a madman with a weapon that you had taken from him, it would not be morally just as this could cause problems. A series of arguments regarding the nature of justice then occur, wherein an individual raises a socially constructed aspect of justice that is then refuted by Socrates in various ways. For instance, Thrasymachus argues that justice doesn’t exist, but is merely the demonstration of the stronger person or entity’s will....
Even if one were to indicate as much, it’s clear that the individuals in the society embrace their concept of justice. In these regards, it appears that in large part Socrates does not go far enough in considering the culturally conditioned aspects of justice, such as religion, or other socially constructed elements. In Book II of the Republic the consideration of justice is continued. At the beginning of this chapter justice is presented as a socially constructed aspect of society that must exist because of human wrongdoings. One notes that this understanding is contrary to Socrates previous presentation of justice as it reflects an understanding of justice that is only followed because it is advantageous for humans to do so. Within this mode of understanding, Glaucon proposes a story of a ring. He states, Suppose now that there were two such magic rings, and the just put on one of them and the unjust the other;,no man can be imagined to be of such an iron nature that he would stand fast in justice. No man would keep his hands off what was not his own when he could safely take what he liked out of the market, or go into houses and lie with any one at his pleasure, or kill or release from prison (Plato). In this scenario the ring would allow the individual to avoid punishment for being unjust. While Socrates later makes efforts to refute this theory, in large part one notes that a significant segment of society understands justice within this form of social contract. One also considers the earlier argument that justice is in large-part determined by the dominant party. In light of the current democratic structure of contemporary society and the means of establishing justice through ... Read More
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