Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Republic Philosophy 1 Spring, 2002 G. J. Mattey. What is Justice? Cephalus says that the greatest good he gets from wealth is the ability to avoid injustice.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Republic Philosophy 1 Spring, 2002 G. J. Mattey. What is Justice? Cephalus says that the greatest good he gets from wealth is the ability to avoid injustice."— Presentation transcript:

1 Republic Philosophy 1 Spring, 2002 G. J. Mattey

2 What is Justice? Cephalus says that the greatest good he gets from wealth is the ability to avoid injustice What, then is justice itself? Socrates says it is not merely speaking the truth and paying back debts –We should not repay someone or tell the whole truth to someone out of his mind Polymarchus claims that it is

3 Appropriate Returns Polymarchus admits that there is no obligation to repay someone out of his mind Justice is for friends to do good for, and no harm to, friends Then repayment to a disturbed friend would not be appropriate if it would do harm Justice is also for enemies to do harm to one another Generally, it is to give to each what is appropriate

4 The Scope of Justice The just person is most capable of benefiting friends and harming enemies in matters of war In matters of peace, the just person is useful for getting and using contracts But how is a just person more useful than a partner, such as a fellow musician?

5 Stealing The just person is the superior partner in matters involving money But the business partner is more useful in most money matters So, the just person is most useful when safeguarding money that is not being used But a person clever in guarding money is also clever in stealing it “A just person has turned out then, it seems, to be a kind of thief”

6 Good and Bad Friends If a friend is someone only believed to be good, then a friend may be bad If a friend is bad, then it is just to harm him So, justice is not being good to one’s friends Revision: A friend is someone believed good who actually is good

7 Harm Things that are harmed become worse in the virtue in which they are harmed Justice is human virtue, so those who are harmed become more unjust The function of a just person is to make others more just So, one does not serve justice by harming This conception of justice probably was invented by powerful people trying to safeguard their interests

8 The Advantage of the Stronger Thrasymachus claims justice is what is instituted for the advantage of the stronger Injustice is what is to one’s personal advantage The stronger, for the purposes of this account, are those rulers whose power is established The laws made by the rules are just laws according to the form of government Tyrants make tyrannical laws, which are the most just, while they behave most unjustly

9 Error Those in power are subject to error So, they may order what is to their disadvantage If it is just for the ruled to obey the orders of the rulers, then it can be just to do what is to the disadvantage of the rulers So, “what is to the advantage to the stronger is no more just than what is not to his advantage” Is the just what the stronger believe advantageous?

10 The Source of Error In a precise sense, one does no err when carrying out his craft The doctor is not acting as a doctor when he gives a mistaken prescription If a person in power makes an error, it is not by virtue of his being stronger So, as the stronger, the ruler always does what is to his advantage

11 Advantage The crafts (in the precise sense) rule over and are stronger than their objects –The doctor is stronger than the patient The craftsperson orders what is to the advantage of the weaker object, not himself So the ruler does not seek his own advantage, but only that of the ruled

12 Injustice Thrasymachus objects that injustice is not that which harms the people ruled Rather, injustice is more advantageous than is justice The greatest advantage at all comes to the most unjust—the tyrant People reproach injustice only because they suffer from it

13 Wages People who practice crafts do so for the benefit of the object of their work This is the reason they require wages This holds for rulers as well –Their work is for the benefit of the ruled –But money and honor are despised in rulers The worst punishment for a ruler is to be ruled by someone worse This is why people agree to rule, not to gain advantage

14 The Virtue of Justice Thrasymachus now claims that justice is “high- minded simplicity,” while injustice is “good judgment” Unjust people such as tyrants are clever and good A clever and good person will only try to outdo someone unlike him But an unjust person will try to outdo both the just and the unjust So, the unjust person is not clever and good, while the just person is

15 The Power of Justice Justice is wisdom and virtue So, injustice is ignorance Ignorance is less powerful than wisdom So, justice is more powerful than injustice Example: a band of thieves would have to be just to one another to be effective With both groups and individuals –Injustice causes strife and civil war –It makes the unit an enemy to itself

16 The Just Life Just people live better and are happier than unjust people The function of a thing is what it alone can do, or what it can do better than other things A thing with a function has a virtue The soul performs its function well through its own particular virtue Justice is such a virtue of the soul So, justice is more profitable than injustice

17 Intrinsic Value There are three kinds of goods –Intrinsic, valued for their own sake –Instrumental, valued for the sake of something else –Goods that are both Socrates holds that justice is of the third kind, but most people think it is onerous Glaucon will consider the intrinsic value or disvalue of justice and injustice Injustice will be argued as being intrinsically better than justice

18 The Instrumental Value of Justice Justice is a compromise made by people lacking in power –It is best to do injustice with impunity –It is worst to suffer it without revenge So people practice justice unwillingly because they lack power People naturally desire to get more and more, and so are naturally unjust –The example of Gyges’s ring illustrates the point

19 A Thought-Experiment Consider the extreme cases of the just and the unjust man –The unjust man appears just –The just man appears unjust The unjust man will be happier –The just man will be severely punished –The unjust man will have it all

20 Supporting Arguments When teaching children, parents emphasize the importance of reputation for justice People honor unjust individuals who have wealth and dishonor poor but good folks The gods can be influenced to excuse unjust behavior, and if the gods do not exist or do not care about human affairs, there is no penalty for injustice People who object to injustice are powerless or infirm

21 The Intrinsic Value of Justice Does justice have any intrinsic value? What effect does justice have because of itself on the soul of a just person? To see this, we must look at something larger than the person—the city will be used as a model

22 The Origin of the City A city comes to be because individuals are not self-sufficient Sharing helps better each one For a city to function well, there must be division of labor This works best if people work according to their talents A great number of different types of workers will be needed for the city to function well

23 Expansion In the “true city,” people will behave moderately so as to fulfill its needs best In a “city with a fever,” there are many luxuries, and more needs to be filled This will lead to growth and eventually war A professional army of “guardians” is needed

24 Guardians The guardians must be fast, courageous and spirited Yet they must be gentle to their own people But spirit and gentleness are contrary The opposites can be combined by the guardians’ being philosophical The guardian must be able to distinguish between friend and foe He must be a lover of wisdom—a philosopher

25 Epilogue In Book IV of the Republic, Plato completes the analogy between the city and the soul Justice in the city is each division of labor performing its proper role (e.g., as guardian) Justice in the soul is each of its parts performing its proper role The other virtues (e.g., courage) are excellences in playing the individual roles

Download ppt "Republic Philosophy 1 Spring, 2002 G. J. Mattey. What is Justice? Cephalus says that the greatest good he gets from wealth is the ability to avoid injustice."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google