Plato: the Republic (Book 1)

Topics: Justice, Plato, Philosophy Pages: 3 (958 words) Published: December 22, 2011
Introduction to Philosophy
Plato is one of the many philosophers who have had an influence on the ideas of humane thinking. Born in Athens, believed to be around 428 BC, Plato has expressed various works pertaining to idealism and the theory of forms. Plato has made many allegories and metaphors of life. One of his many famous writings would be included in his collected dialogues. The Republic, Book 1, is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato around his mid-life. The Republic (Book 1) focuses on the definition of justice and the order and character of the just city-state and the just man. The Republic is Plato’s best known work and has proven to be one of the most influential works of philosophy and political theory.

In the Republic, Socrates as well as other various philosophers discuss the meaning of justice and examine whether or not the just man is happier than the unjust man. The people included in the argument also bring out topics pertaining to the theory of forms, immortality of the soul, and the roles of the philosopher and of poetry in society.

Socrates defines justice as a man who tells the truth and paying back all his debts or whoever he owed (developed from what was said from Cephalus said earlier to Socrates and the others). But in his same idea of what justice is, he admits that this action can be unjust according to other synopses. The scenario that Socrates uses in the book is that if a person took over weapons from a friend who was in his right mind and the friend later on goes mad and demands it back but the man does not return the weapons then the man is not just. His actions were just but others would consider him an unjust man because it is as if he held possessions that were not his. Justice is doing what the superior people believe is right and will also benefit others. So Socrates concludes that justice is nothing more than honoring legal obligations and being honest.

After Cephalus leaves the argument of what justice is,...
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