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See the Attachment File. fromplatosrepublicbookii.doc From Plato’s Republic Book II, Trans Benjamin Jowett (AA) Socrates is having a discussion about “justice” with Adeimantus and Glaucon. The Greek word for “justice” is “dikaion” or “right”. A better translation, the one used by translator Robin Waterfield, is “morality”. Thrasymachus, a rash young orator has just objected to the course of the conversation so far that when Socrates and the others discuss kings, they insist on discussing their obligations to their subjects. But really, kings are like shepherds, who fatten their animals for the slaughter—i.e., for personal advantage. Thasymachus foreshadows Machiavelli and later Nietzsche in arguing that what ordinary
folks call “right” is just a set of rules that help us live together, and protect us against stronger people. If a person can gain advantage without assisting others, there is a sense in which he should do so. Thus a strong person, if he can get away with it, should feel no guilt in using others as a means to his own purposes. Glaucon, in the passage below, provides an example of this: GLAUCON: They say that to do injustice is, by nature, good; to suffer injustice, evil; but that the evil is greater than the good. And so when men have both done and suffered injustice and have had experience of both, not being able to avoid the one and obtain the other, they think that they had better agree among themselves to have neither; hence there arise laws and mutual covenants; and that which is ordained by law is termed by them lawful and just. This they affirm to be the origin and nature of justice; --it is a mean or compromise, between the best of all, which is to do injustice and not be punished, and the worst of all, which is to suffer injustice without the power of retaliation; and justice, being at a middle point between the two, is tolerated not as a good, but as the lesser

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