Andrea D. Lopez
May 8, 2013
1) What is justice according to Plato? How does Plato’s theory of the soul reflect his understanding of justice? Plato was a famous philosopher and a mathematician who lived from 429 to 374 B.C. Plato was the founder of The Academy of Athens and with the knowledge he gained from his professor, Socrates, he continued to spread his teachings to the youth. In the book, Republic, Plato defines justice as harmony with one self. If a person is content with themselves then everything around them should be at peace. If one is too busy worrying about other people’s business, then they aren’t being just to their human soul. Plato’s theory of the soul correlates with his definition of what justice is because in order to have justice within one self the human soul must go through a process of three categories—reason, spirit, and desires. When every part of the soul is following what is right and doing what it is supposed to do, then just is being pursued. “But in truth justice was, as it seems, something of this sort; however, not with respect to a man’s minding his external business, but with respect to what is within, with respect to what truly concerns him and his own” (Plato, pg 123). Plato describes justice as to people need to worry about themselves and let others worry about themselves as well. Minding someone else’s business won’t bring justice to them. “He doesn’t let each part in him mind other people’s business or the three classes in the soul meddle with each other, but really sets his own house in good order and rules himself…” (Plato, pg 123). The three categories that bring justice to the human soul must obtain 3 subcategories in order to fulfill what Plato’s theory of the soul really means. One has to have reason in order to obtain wisdom, spirit to obtain courage, and desire to obtain temperance. Plato uses his theory of the soul when he is describing the city. He gives one example for each category. For example, the first category is identified as reason, therefore he uses the guardians and rulers of the city as an example of reason that then is translated to wisdom due to the guardians ad rulers knowing what to do and how to do the right thing. Second example is the relationship of auxiliaries and soldiers who have the spirit and passion that is then translated to courage which makes them the brave ones. The last example is the relationship between the workers and craftsmen who obtain temperance by moderation. These three categories is what makes up the human soul which then, if obtained, the person fulfills the definition of justice and has harmony with one self. Throughout the book, Republic, Plato identifies justice as being the main function of his theory of the soul. Reason, spirit, and desire is justice. Being reasonable about everything, having the courage to take responsibility for things, and the desire of temperance is what brings Plato’s definition of justice and his theory of the soul together.
2. Discuss Plato’s ‘Theory of Forms.’ How does the “Allegory of the cave’ explain this theory? Plato’s ‘Theory of Forms’ is described as the world of thought and understanding. It is reality and the good that constitutes the theory of forms. Plato identifies non-material ideas as the basic concept of reality. It is through the theory of forms and sensations that one truly grasps knowledge. By Plato explaining ‘The Allegory of the Cave,’ he is able to correlate his theory of forms with the world of thought and the world of sense. The ‘Allegory of the Cave’ is a perfect example of a form in Plato’s theory of forms. The cave itself is the world of sense. The world of sense is based of physical objects and shadows/reflections. People are chained to the ground inside this cave where their entire life has been a lie but to them it is all they have been known to. Different objects are being set up for them behind their backs and all they can see it the...
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