Second Exam Study Guide
1.) What is the first definition offered for the concept in question, and what counter-
example does Socrates provide against it? (331c-e).
Question: What is JUSTICE?
Cephalus responds, “
Justice is telling the truth and paying one’s debts
Socrates asked if he would give a crazy man a weapon if he asked for it?
There’s more to truth than an exchange of physical goods
Telling the truth: Jews in WWII,
Lying is a lesser evil sometimes when the truth will cause
2.) What is the second definition offered for the concept in question, which is further
qualified by an appeal to the status between the subject and their relationships, and
what counter-example does Socrates provide against it?
Cephalus’ son responds (Polemarchus) and quotes poet Simonides
Justice is “giving all persons their due”
Who deserves what? Helping friends and hurting enemies
Socrates then talks about BETRAYAL:
What if a friend betrays you? Then what? No one knows for
certain who their friends and enemies are. Always a possibility of
You could harm someone who you think is your enemy but
is really your friend
You could help someone who you think is your friend but
is really your enemy
Socrates brings up the craft analogy
Soul has intellect, will and appetite.
If person is lacking justice, no amount of intellect will
insure that they will do the right thing, if they have the will
and appetite to do unjust things
EX: Hannibal Lector as chef would not be just
3.) What is Socrates’ position on retributive harms, and what argument does he
provide from the nature and end of a thing, using the example of a racehorse?
What is Thrasymachus’ contrary view concerning the definition of the concept
that is at the heart of this dialogue and what are some of Socrates’ arguments
against this view? (name at least one).
Retributive Harms are revenge and retaliation. Socrates doesn’t think they’ll get
you anywhere, as can be seen with the example of the racehorse:
Win the race!
A retributive harm
advantage of the other
Ship docks safely!
If the horse has a broken leg, he will not have speed and agility therefore he will
not win the race! The retributive harm WILL NOT achieve justice in a society
because everyone will be going against each other!
Thrasymachus says that
“justice is the advantage of the strongest”
MAKES RIGHT! (Whoever has the power gets their way)
uses the example of the ship captain (above) and says that if the ship
captain abuses his power and takes advantage of the other workers, there is no
way that the ship will dock safely, it won’t sail for long if people aren’t doing
what they should be.
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