Note 5Plato’s Defense of Justice. Platonic Social Justice and Gender

Note 5Plato’s Defense of Justice. Platonic Social Justice and Gender

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P1007H6 Plato’s Defense of Justice. Platonic Social Justice and Gender I. Plato's defense of his justice so far, that is, his affirmative answer to the question, Would I be better off or happier being just rather than unjust? a. This question presupposes Plato's answer to the first main question, and so it is about Platonic justice. Plato is defending his justice, not T’s or G’s justice. b. Since Plato divided the first main question into two and gave two answers to it, we divide this question into two, one about his just city and one about his just person: Would I be better off or happier being just in Plato's just society (i.e. being a just citizen) rather than being unjust? Would I be better off or happier being a Platonically just person rather than an unjust one? 3. Part of his answer to the first question is in pp. 56-7, 110-111, 112-114. One part of this answer is that when a city is organized so that each citizen is performing that social function for which s/he is best suited by innate ability and education, the city will promote the good of the city AS A WHOLE more than any other organization. The second part is that a city so organized will promote the good of each citizen more than any otherwise organized city, because it will have EACH citizen doing what s/he can do best. Implicit in this answer the principle that justice should promote the good of the whole city; and the idea that doing what one does best is good for one and contributes to one’s happiness, especially when one does what one is best at well. Notice that underlying this defense is a different conception of happiness than happiness as pleasure obtained by the possession of power, wealth, and freedom, the three great instrumental goods of the theories of T and G. Instead of this, Plato tries to connect human happiness to the exercise of human social capabilities, and the satisfaction obtained from success so defined (i.e. performing social functions well).
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course PHIL 10 taught by Professor Santas during the Fall '07 term at UC Irvine.

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Note 5Plato’s Defense of Justice. Platonic Social Justice and Gender

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