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PHL lecture, oct. 6.doc

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Peter King

Republic book IV Social Virtues  Now that the ideal society has been constructed, Plato proposes an „elimination method‟ for locating justice (427E-428A). o Since the society is ideal, it must contain the standard virtues:  Wisdom  Courage  Moderation  Justice o So: what are the traditional virtues found in a society?  Wisdom: found in the society‟s “sound judgment” about social matters as a whole, clearly the province of the rulers (428B-429A)  Courage: found in the capacity of a part of the city to preserve its belief about what is to be feared and what not, namely the Auxiliaries (429C-430C)  Moderateness: is a kind of “harmony” or “orderliness” located in the diffusion of the same opinion throughout the society about who should rule and who should be ruled (430D-432B)  So where is justice? o Plato proposes that it is found in the very merit-based criterion itself, namely in assigning labour-activities on the basis of merit, in which case justice is “the possession of one’s own and the performance of one’s own task” (433E-434A) Individual Virtues  434D-445E  To carry through the analogy of society and the individual, Plato argues that there are three “parts” of the soul which correspond to the three classes of society; he then identifies the virtues within each individual soul as the counterparts of social virtues describe  Proof that there are three parts to the soul: o The Principle of Opposites: “It is clear that the same will not do or suffer opposites, at least with regard to the same and towards the same, at the same time.” (436B-437A) o Thirst is an opposite (437B1-D7)  Thirst itself is for drink itself, and not for any special kind of drink
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