PHIL
Justice in Plato Essay

Justice in Plato Essay - 1 Whittaker Spencer Whittaker Dr...

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1 Whittaker Spencer Whittaker Dr. Rust Into to Philosophy 28 April 2013 Justice is Plato’s Republic As John M. Cooper begins his argument on Plato’s Republic he discusses the meaning of justice. As described by him, justice can be considered a person’s actions, choice, and reference to interrelationships among various elements that can be classified into internal psychological terms: reason, aspiration, and appetite. He states that for a person to be such, each of these three must play an always and certain single role, “for which it is naturally suited.” (151) Cooper tells that reason “determines how it is best for a person to be and act.” (151) Of the three elements that compose Justice, reason rules over the others. Someone who is just can see what needs to be done and put those conclusions into action. However he also explains that Plato believed that reason is not to just rule but it is to rule with wisdom. Plato characterizes wisdom: “But [we call an individual] wise by that small part that ruled in him and handed down these commands, by its possession in turn within it of the knowledge of what is beneficial for each and for the whole, the community composed of the three.” (152) Essentially, that if reason is not performing its job fully unless three separate conditions met. The first of those conditions being that reason knows what is best for the person to do. The second being that all decisions that are made by reason are made in with the knowledge of knowing what is best, and the third comes when the decisions that reason makes are effective.
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2 According to Plato, no one is just who does not have the knowledge of what is best to do. A city’s justice is considered to be the condition in which each class sticks to its own social work, but just doing so does not in effect prove that they are just. Rather this merely shows that they do what it just and does not prove that they are just themselves based off this behavior alone. Lastly, Plato consistently restricts justice to be a virtue of individuals who possess within themselves “knowledge of what it is best to do and be.” (153) For a person to know what the Plato’s just person’s state of mind would be, they would have to know the nature and substance of his knowledge. Essentially how the just person thinks and feels in situations. His wisdom is described as simply, knowledge of what is advantageous to himself. However, the knowledge possessed by rulers of the ideal city is given the same name thus suggesting a “gross equivocation” (153) by part of Plato. This likely comes via his conviction that only in cities can a person realize their
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