Platos Notion of Justice vs. Thrasymachus, Why Be Moral?
By: Khonstance Milan
Plato has a different sense of justice than what we ourselves would consider to be justice. Justice starts in the heart and goes outward. Justice is about being a person of good intent towards all people, doing what is believed to be right or moral. Plato believes that once a person has a true understanding of justice that they will want to be “just” for its own benefit regardless of good or bad consequence. Though being just is known to have good consequences also makes being “just” a positive trait. (Clark, 2003, 13) Living a “just” life is good and good is the “well being of well living, the best life is supreme good.” (Bao, 2011, 259) The cause of our happiness is better than being happy itself, which is why this is powerful. We can look at supreme good as experiencing all good things without feelings of regret. (Bao, 2011, 259)
Throughout history “just” people have received rewards and praise for being so. Plato believed that any man would be judged for his actions because he believed in an afterlife. He encouraged the myth of Er and believed that people were judged in their afterlife and would pay for the acts they did whether good or evil. Plato saw the soul as being immortal and able to withstand any good or evil that could prevail. Because of this he practiced and encouraged others to “practice justice with reason in every way.” (Clark, 2003, 14)
There are three parts to a “just” person. There is reason which should lead the other two parts with the best interest for the whole person. The others, appetite is desire for the things we should do or consume in moderation and spirit is about self honor and victory. (Clark, 2003, 16) When reason leads, a person can be happy and makes them a new kind of strong. This new strong is good and should be dominant. Being “just” from the inside protects the true ego because desire can be seen as external to our...
Cited: Bao, L. (2011). 'Justice is happiness '?-An analysis of Plato 's strategies in response to challenges from the sophists. Frontiers Of Philosophy In China, 6(2), 258-272.
Clark, Kelly James. (2003) The Story of Ethics Fulfilling Our Human Nature. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Rosen, Stanley. (2005). Plat’s Republic: A Study. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Retrieved from http://site.ebrary.com.library.gcu.edu:2048/lib/grandcanyon/docDetail.action?docID=101 70841.
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