Name of author: Plato’s reply to Glaucon’s ?rst objection, that Justice is no more than a Compromise The word "justice" appears in many of the United States' most important documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Pledge of Allegiance…
Politicians interpret justice in one way and sociologists and philosophers interpret it in another way. Different religions and different cultures have different views about justice. For example, capital punishment is an accepted way of punishing criminals in some of the most advanced societies like United Sates. However, it is prohibited in many other countries. Buddhists do believe that killing of a person or an animal under any circumstances is an inhuman and injustice act whereas some other communities do believe that killing of enemies of their culture or community is an acceptable act. In short, justice is interpreted in different ways by different people. Plato has argued that justice is no more than compromise as a reply to Glaucon’s first objection. This paper critically analyses the claims of Plato. “For Glaucon, stripping him of everything but his justice simply equates to removing his reputation and all the good things which accrue to him from that. Any good he achieves is another’s good, and why should anyone care about that” (Brown, p.54). Glaucon argued that one of the major consequences of justice is happiness. In other words, granting of justice will make a person happier at the expense of another person. For example, suppose capital punishment is provided to a criminal who brutally raped a female. This punishment may give happiness to the victim even though it provides displeasure to the offender. In other words, justice can be provided only at the expense of another person according to the views of Glaucon. In response to Glaucon’s argument, Plato replied that justice is no more than a compromise. In other words, justice is a compromise between good and evil. It should be noted that "in any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit” (The Nature of Compromise). In other words, the ultimate beneficiary of a compromise would be the evil force. If we analyse Plato’s argument in that sense, justice will provide more benefits to the offender than the victim. Plato's answer lies in his account of the virtuous soul. The soul is a complex entity. Reflection will show that the best state of a complex is harmony. That can only occur in the soul when each part has and does its own - when reason rules and the other parts are subdued. Thus, as the health of the body, intrinsically desirable, is physical order, so the health of the soul is psychic harmony - and that is happiness. However, order in the soul is exactly like order in the State – and it is justice. The harmonious soul, then, is the just (virtuous) soul, where reason rules. Such an internal disposition is happiness, which is immune from the invasions of luck (Mackenzie, p.89). In Plato’s opinion, happiness has different dimensions. He has pointed out that happiness is highly subjective since it is associated with physical and mental factors. Health of a body is a physical order whereas happiness is a mental order according to Plato. For example, social recognition provides mental happiness whereas consumption of better foods will keep our body healthy. In the first case, our soul will become happy whereas in the second case, our body will become happy. It should be noted that human is believed to be the product of body and soul. It is definite that body cannot stay without its driving force soul whereas the survival of soul without body is controversial. “ ...
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