Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formattingExcerpt from Term Paper:
A DEFENSE OF PLATO'S IDEA OF THE GOOD
IN HIS REPUBLIC
The main prompt or assertion provided in the lecture notes, being "Whatever might be its philosophical value, the idea of the Good has no political relevance," goes completely against Plato's philosophical tenets and contrasts sharply with his two major syllogisms concerning the idea of the Good and the relevancy of the Good in a political environment. Thus, it is the aim of this paper to defend Plato's viewpoint as presented in the concluding comments in Book One and the opening arguments in Book Two of his Republic with the assistance of Plato's supportive dialogues with Polemarchus and Thrasymachus and the refutations of Glaucon and Adeimantus.
In Book One, the passage related to justice demonstrates Socrates' powerful intellect and his unflinching skepticism. The conversation itself seems to end at several points with no clear-cut conclusions, such as when Socrates says "The just is happy, and the unjust miserable? So be it. But happiness and not misery is profitable. . . injustice can never be more profitable than justice." What appears to be functioning here is a type of irony in which Socrates and his fellow conversationalist accept without hesitation certain opinions that otherwise leave the reader pondering their vapid conclusions. With Polemarchus' definition of the conventional morality of justice ("It is just to do good to our friends and harm to our enemies. . . It is just to do good to our friends when they are good and harm to our enemies when they are evil," the vulnerability of the speakers can be seen in their separate terminology. Yet not surprisingly, Socrates probes every single
deviation and term, thus exposing all weaknesses and limitations in his search for the
In essence, it is Socrates' prodding that leads Thrasymachus to accuse Socrates of only answering his questions with another question. Socrates' response quickly clarifies the situation, for he expresses "And the result of the whole discussion has been that I know nothing at all. For I know not what justice is, and therefore I am not likely to know whether it is or is not a virtue, nor can I say whether the just man is happy or unhappy."
Plato, on the other hand, appears to acknowledge a great deal in contrast to Socrates's admission that he "knows nothing." The core argument in the Republic revolves around the first of Plato's syllogisms-A: To be happy, one must participate in the Good; B: To participate in the Good, one must be just; C: Therefore, to be happy, one must be just." This statement is diametrically opposed to that of Polemarchus, for if an individual is truly good and just as a result of being happy, then any slights or acts of retaliation against an enemy is an unjust act.
The second definition of justice is obtained via the dialogue of Thrasymachus in his justification for tyranny, where he declares "that in all states there is the same principle of justice, which is the interest of the government. . . . (thus), the only reasonable conclusion is that everywhere there is one principle of justice, which is the interest of the strong." This declaration, like that of Polemarchus, is directly opposed to that of Plato and Socrates, who suggests that the stronger may not always be aware of his influence on his lesser subjects, thus making it necessary for the weaker to disobey him.
The conversation then progresses to the point where tyranny (perfect injustice) and
benevolent rule (perfect justice) are juxtaposed against one another. But Socrates, via a set of examples, prevails once again, for he states that justice is not in the best interest of the stronger, due to "the conclusion that the weaker are commanded to do" what, in the long-term, "is for the injury of the stronger." This illustrates that the pride and ambition of the unjust man are symbols of his weakness; the just man, however, while being manipulated by the strong, remains humble, wise and objective.
In the final stage of the conversations in Book One, Socrates strives to prove that the life of man must be based on justice and not injustice. For this, he utilizes the age-old analogy of the human soul as a symbol of perfection during his discourse with Thrasymachus: "And we have admitted that justice is the excellence of the soul, and injustice the defect of the soul. . . the just soul and the just man will live well, and the unjust man will live ill. . .And he who lives well is blessed, and he who lives ill the reverse of happy. . . (thus) injustice can never be more profitable than injustice." All of this juxtaposition, however, still draws no conclusive answers as to the nature of justice, mainly due to the fact that such an extrapolation into justice is in itself a mere abstract concept which according to Plato deserves to be placed in some other spatial dimension beyond what can be objectively defined.
In Book Two of Plato's Republic, the conversation between the participants take on a more intellectual approach, due to Glaucon, one of Plato's staunchest supporters, immersing himself in true argumentation in order to arrive at some type of consociation between the parties. Glaucon asserts that "man is just, not willingly or because he thinks
that justice is any good to him. . . but of necessity, for whenever anyone thinks that he can safely be unjust, there he is unjust." Yet this declaration can be viewed from another perspective as asserted by William S. Broadman: "The requirements of justice are not creatures of human decision. . . Thus, the trouble with Glaucon is that he does not even begin to understand what communal justice is all about." 1 At this point, Adeimantus, the second of Plato's unswayable supporters, interjects with some lines of poetry from the Greek masters in order to broaden Glaucon's argument. He roundly asserts that parents are constantly telling their children to be just "not for the sake of justice, but for the sake of character and reputation," for the noble Hesiod "says that the Gods make the oaks of the just." Here, Glaucon is re-emphasizing his cultural roots and traditions which do not contain, at least in his mind, any relevant examples of true and selfless justice.
Thus, after arriving at no definite conclusions on the just, the unjust, justice and unjustice, Socrates commences on his quest to construct his personal ideal of the Utopian state where justice will be balanced out against injustice and all individuals will be tried for their just or unjust ways. "A State," according to Plato, "arises. . . .out of the needs of mankind; no one is self-sufficing. . . let us begin and create in idea a State; and yet the true creator is necessity. . . the mother of our invention."
This assertion then leads us to the second important syllogism devised by Plato, being A: Human happiness equals the good life; B: Knowledge of the Good is necessary for living the good life; C: Philosophers and only philosophers know the Good; D: Therefore, only if philosophers rule will the polis (the city) be led toward the good life and human happiness." This syllogism was created via Plato's premise that Good does exist
and can be demonstrated as existing, and that only philosophers can truly have a knowledge of the Good. As part of this, Plato also maintains that "an evil soul must necessarily be an evil ruler. . . and the good soul a good ruler." And here we can also move back to the main prompt or assertion at the beginning of this paper, namely "Whatever might be its philosophical value, the…[continue]
"1 A Defense Of Plato's Idea Of" (2003, January 27) Retrieved December 6, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/1-a-defense-of-plato-idea-142961
"1 A Defense Of Plato's Idea Of" 27 January 2003. Web.6 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/1-a-defense-of-plato-idea-142961>
"1 A Defense Of Plato's Idea Of", 27 January 2003, Accessed.6 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/1-a-defense-of-plato-idea-142961
Plato's Educational Systems And Divisions Of Classes In The Republic On "Educating Philosopher Kings," the in Republic, trans. Robin Waterfield (Oxford University Press, 1993), pp. 250-276. Unlike the democratic society of ancient Athens, Plato's philosophical conception of the self and state is based upon divisions of education, politics, and social stratum, rather than unity. Of course, it should be noted that even democratic Athenian conceptions of the larger body politic were divided into
Plato's Republic and George Orwell's 1984 Philosophy could be defined as the highest level of true clarity and understanding human thought can aspire to. It would thus seem strange to compare the ideal philosophical kingdom of Plato's Republic with George Orwell's 1984. Plato's writings form the cornerstone of Western philosophy, while Orwell's text tells of a totalitarian society where all free thought is stifled. However, the two men's versions of
Plato's Apology Discuss the main points of Plato's the Apology The Apology is based upon series of speeches that were made by Socrates in 39 BC. He was standing trial for corrupting the youth of Athens by not believing in the gods of the city. This is because he would often question various ideas in order to have a greater sense of understand and enlightenment. As a result, there were several main
One of the points clarified in this way is then, as mentioned above, Socrates' apparent stubborn foolhardiness in refusing to refute the court's decision. Xenophon notes that Socrates found death desirable over life. This is a point that Socrates himself also addresses in Plato's work, when he considers the possibilities of life after death. Socrates appears to consider both complete annihilation and the migration of the soul as preferable to
" This illustration is an exact explication of the kind of philosophy that Plato helped propagate in human society during his time, and still gained prominence and status as contending philosophies, to other philosophies of latter centuries. Rubinstein further stressed that Platonism thrives on the idea that human knowledge only becomes pure when it is more abstract; hence, knowledge explicated through concrete terms are considered as transmitted knowledge only, and
Plato the Republic and Huxley's Brave New World IN WHAT WAYS DOES THE SOCIETY IN BRAVE NEW WORLD MOST CLOSELY PARALLEL THE IDEAL CITY DESCRIBED BY PLATO IN THE REPUBLIC? In some modes the essence of The Republic is regarded as very complicated, however, it enjoins together completely to prepare the attitude of Plato on the society and government. It is transparent that the Platonic society is to be greatly hierarchical as
Plato It is possible to read Plato's Apology as the best extant textual representation of the legacy of Athens in the fifth century BCE in law and politics. The fact is that the Athenians, although they voted to put Socrates to death, might very well agree on principle with this evaluation. The Apology is, after all, a representation of the Athenian system of trial by jury, and it is worth recalling