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Plato's 'Republic': The Philosophical Tenets of Justice - Essay Example
Justice is an issue that has continually attracted different philosophical inclinations and much often opposite perspectives. Is it merely a convention practiced by mankind in selfish pursuit of the benefits it accrues, or is it a reality that has a defining basis and should be adopted as a matter of principle regardless of the outcomes?…
Critical philosophical study of the issue alongside irrefutable proof leads to the conclusion that justice has an absolute reality as well as its own benevolence and should be pursued regardless of the consequences. Through an objective study of Plato’s “Republic” this philosophical position can be defended adequately.
A background of the text is first important in order for one to understand the different perspectives from which justice can be viewed. Glaucon argues that justice is pursued by man against his will - a matter of necessity rather than for the goodness of it . He also thinks that the just man would pursue injustice were he to be immune to the consequences and besides, he ultimately ends up the happier of the two. Glaucon asks Socrates to defend the view that justice is better than injustice (358b-362d). Adeimantus also requires of Socrates to demonstrate that there is value to justice, not just a utility for man to gain certain advantages in society. To answer this, Socrates uses an analogy of justice in the city to portray justice in a person. He argues that a just man does not differ in any way from a just city (435b).
Justice is the result of a soul that is well ordered, hence Plato creates three classes of people present in his model city Kallipolis; producers, guardians and rulers. ...