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essay#1 - Tony Jones February 16th 2009 Prof Albertson What...

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Tony Jones February 16 th , 2009 Prof. Albertson What is a good life? Justice and the Disparate Logic of Socrates A common theme to the ancient and classic writings of Thucydides’ The Melian Dialogue and Plato’s’ recordings of Socrates’ position in The Republic is the idea of justice. Various ideas are found that help describe what constitutes justice in the realm of political science between the ruler and the ruled. In analyzing both of these sources, it is quite clear and utterly apparent the disparate Socrates, unlike the Melians and Thrasymachus, is more sufficient in providing a concrete interpretation of justice and the means by which a just society is founded through his deductive and logical reasoning that results in the Thrasymachus’ own contradiction and the parallel of his [Socrates] theory with the just societies throughout history. In analyzing the insufficient arguments, the Melians throughout the Melian Dialogue , refuse to negotiate an unconditional surrender to the strong, invading forces of Athens, a major military powerhouse of classical Greece. During their negotiations with the Athenians, the Melians suggest the following as their interpretation of justice: “…in our principle view [of justice] it is at any rate useful that you should not destroy a principle that is to the general good of all men—namely, that in the case of all who fall into danger there should be such thing as fair play and just dealing, and that such people should be allowed to use and to profit by arguments that fall short of mathematical accuracy” (402). In a humanitarian perspective, this definition of justice would be sufficient, and perhaps allowing a just society through opportunistic negotiation. However, it represents a Utopian society that is, in fact, perpendicular to the ways in which the methods of the world flow and operate in not only -1-
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Jones, the modern world, but in the classical eras of Greece itself. The argument presented by the Melians lack depth and any persuasion that might suggest a change in course by the Athenians.
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