Interpretiveof Plato’s The Republic Assignment

Interpretiveof Plato’s The Republic Assignment Words: 1417

At the end of Book I the three problems are made evident, but not answered. In Book Xi’s “Closing Argument”, Socrates and Trashcans make a point of what needs to be answered in order to find the true definition of justice. Once they realize the three questions that need to be answered, Socrates says, “So long as do not know what the just is, I shall hardly know whether it is a virtue or not and whether the one who has it is unhappy or happy. “l The answers, which are later discovered, are in direct comparison with Book l, because the questions all stem from the closing argument.

Although no real answers are found at the end of Book l, it sets up a framework for the other men to follow and argue with in the following books. In Book II, Glaucoma decides to announce the challenge of injustice against justice. Glaucoma challenges Socrates by asking him whether or not he wants to “seem to have persuaded them”, or “truly persuaded them”. Obviously Socrates wants to truly persuade all of the men, so Glaucoma begins to try to refute Socrates’ previous statements. Glaucoma does this by using the story of the Aegean Ring. He uses this story to show that Justice is really one of the third forms of the good”.

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The three forms of “good” are one, for its own sake, two, for its own sake and its consequences, and three, for its consequences. The story is about a shepherd who one day finds a gold ring on a corpse. He later finds out that the ring possesses the special power of invisibility. The shepherd is easily corrupted by the power of the ring and proceeds by performing very unjust actions. He ends up taking over the kings rule after committing adultery with the king’s wife and killing the king. This shows that given the opportunity, a just man will perform the same deeds as an unjust man, in order to achieve what is better.

Glaucoma is trying to prove that justice is not a virtue and that a just man performs just deeds not because he wants to, but because the just deeds have the least amount of consequences. An unjust man can attain the same thing through unjust actions, but the consequences of his actions vary whether he is caught doing the action, or gets away clean. Glaucoma’s final statement is that justice is not a virtue of the soul because if the shepherd had the virtue, he would not have performed the unjust deeds after finding the ring. Glaucoma is then followed up by Socrates and Dominants who collectively create an imaginary ‘healthy’ city.

They start small with one need, which was food, and branch out from there. They work all the way up to building the complete city but during the construction they decide that every man in the city is naturally selected to perform one work. “So on this basis each thing becomes more plentiful, finer, and easier when one man, exempt from other tasks, does one thing according to nature and at a crucial moment. “2 He says that rather than performing many tasks at a mediocre level, each man is elected to perform one art efficiently and correctly.

Since each man can only perform one work, they create three classes of citizens who are responsible for a properly functioning city. The first group is the workers, which are broken into two parts. One part is those who work for what they city “wants”, and the other is those who work for what the city “needs”. Second is Auxiliary Guardians, and third is Complete Guardians. Both groups of guardians can only focus on needs and not wants. Each group is given a certain metal for their soul type. The workers receive a bronze metal, Auxiliary Guardians a liver metal, and Complete Guardians a gold metal.

Then, certain virtues are attributed to each group’s soul type. Golden souls have wisdom, silver souls have courage, and all souls have moderation. Wisdom has the calculating part, courage has the spirited part, and moderation has the desiring part. Now after creating all of this, they relate each group in the city to each part of the soul. They come to the conclusion that each part of the city needs justice and because of this, each part of the soul needs justice. They also define a virtue as what allows a thing to work well and perform its proper work.

A virtue is a certain health beauty and good condition of the soul. Whereas vice is a sickness, ugliness or weakness. Together, Dominants and Socrates find the answer to one of the three problems. They prove that justice is a virtue of the soul. In Book IV, Socrates and Glaucoma agree that each man is naturally fit to perform one job in a city and can only perform that one job. Earlier, in Book l, he convinced Trashcans that each work of a specific thing is what that thing alone is able to do, and for that special work, a unique virtue is required.

This includes the case of the soul and its virtue being justice. In Book II he convinces Dominants that one man can only have one art. Between these three men, Socrates created a common theme, which can be seen as “one man, one art”. Now the definition of justice starts to rise. In Book IV Socrates says to Glaucoma that the “one man, one work” theme, “turns out to be after all a kind of phantom of justice. “3 They are then able to define justice as the entirety of virtue; or the virtue of an ordered whole working according to the natural, proper virtues of its parts.

Now two of the three original problems have their appropriate solutions, the definition of justice, and whether or not justice is a virtue. Finally the last problem is to be answered, whether the one who has the virtue of justice is happy or unhappy. It would seem that those who are unjust would be happy because they get the better in life without performing the proper tasks to attain it. They cheat by taking short cuts and performing unjust acts, and if they are not caught, will receive the “better. Furthermore, the just are truly happy because they achieve things in life rightly and in the end know they did the just thing.

The just are clear of conscience and can die peacefully, which was Cephalic’ main concern in the beginning of Book l. The soul needs to be pure in order to die peacefully and without any one person having much regret over their life’s decisions. When the soul has the virtue of justice, it tends to stay on the correct path of life and live happier. When the body is unhealthy, the body is sick, and when the soul is unhealthy, the soul is sick. This means that those who commit many unjust acts will tend to focus on the unjust actions they preformed throughout their lives rather than the just actions.

Plato has given us an account that is true and valuable. He was able to prove all of the solutions to the problems that were at hand. Although he succeeds in producing strong opposing arguments, in the end the truth can be seen. He creates these strong arguments against his main theme so that when any man reads The Republic, his point can be attained without any other opposition from the reader. Plato uses the city and the story of the Aegean Ring as opposing arguments to allow his augments outcome to be without doubt.

The questions Socrates asks in Book Xi’s “Closing Argument” Leary relates to the answers he formulated. Through every example and opposing argument that he disproved, he was able to find the answers to all three of his problems. In the end, Socrates is able to “truly convince??’ all of the men in the argument of what he was trying to prove. After being faced with the three problems of define ins justice, deciphering if justice is a virtue, and seeing if justice leads to true happiness, Socrates found the three appropriate solutions for each problem.

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