Thrasymachus and Justice in Plato's Political Philosophy

Thrasymachus and Justice in Plato
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Philosophy
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Distinguished sophist of ancient Greece Thrasymachus has elucidated the term justice while entering into discussion on the same topic with great philosopher Socrates, which has been elaborated by Socrates’ renowned disciple Plato in his Republic. …

Introduction

Distinguished sophist of ancient Greece Thrasymachus has elucidated the term justice while entering into discussion on the same topic with great philosopher Socrates, which has been elaborated by Socrates’ renowned disciple Plato in his Republic. Book I of the Republic encompasses the debate between Thrasymachus and Socrates, where the former makes two assertions about justice. At first, he declares the notion as mere the ‘advantage of the strong over the weak’; and secondly he views justice as ‘submitting to the prevailing statutes of the state law.’ (Hourani, 111) The powerful governments, according to Thrasymachus, strive to implement their policies by dint of the force they enjoy in comparison with the weaker states; consequently, the policy is expected to be observed and followed by all the weak nations. As a result, it becomes the law, which is unconditionally and unanimously imitated by all. Consequently, it is equally beneficial for the weaker due to the very reality that it would be obeyed by all the weak without discrimination, and hence will become a law for all individuals. The sophist also argues that justice imposes unnecessary restrains on the human desires, and thus it does not turn out to be advantageous for the majority of the people in general. Hence, on the one side, Thrasymachus defines justice as the exploitation of the weak individual(s) or stratum at the hands of the powerful; and on the other side, he declares it as the abiding of the uniform law, which looks at everyone on the foundations of equality and impartiality. ...
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