Published on 16 Jul 2011
School
UTSG
Department
Political Science
Course
POL200Y1
Professor
POL200Y1Y L5101 1
R. Balot
L5: Republic II & III
May 26, 2009
6:01 PM
Lecture
Finishing Thrasymachus
Transition to Book 2
Glaucon's Challenge
Adeimantus' Speech
Soul/State Analogy
City of Pigs
Educating Warriors
Censorship + Other Provisions
Finishing Thrasymachus
Tries to 'unmask' justice as merely high-minded moral talk. He is not a neutral
observer. His task is to debunk traditional morality. A consequence of this is a
diminished respect for justice and the unbridled pursuit of power and wealth. While
Socrates attempts to defuse his argument by using the argument that crafts/arts are
not employed so as to benefit the possessor, but the subject. Thrasymachus counters
this by giving examples of arts which do in fact benefit the possessor (i.e. Torture).
[344C/D]
Thrasymachus represents the theorist who admires the winner who unabashedly
acquires all that he can for his own good. This is parallel to Athenian thinking at this
time.
Thrasymachus steers his argument in a different direction. At first he attempts to
demonstrate how justice works. Then later, he reveals his own ideas about
justice/injustice. In conclusion, he believes that injustice pays and justice is
'high minded stupidity'
This then becomes the key question of the dialogue: does justice pay?
Socrates, after Thrasymachus reveals his understanding of justice, demonstrates
that Thrasymachus' thinking leads to results which Thrasymachus himself would not
abide by.
oSocrates shows that the unjust man= bad and ignorant person, instead of the
possessor of crafts
oBut Socrates is at pains to show that rulership is an art devoted to the
subjects' good and not the rulers'
Here, we see that Socrates foreshadows his later arguments
e.g. his money-making argument
o345E., 347B-D
oHe makes several claims about money/honour/and what they
mean in the light of one who rules
Thrasymachus argues that imperial cities are the most admirable as they can get
what they want (note the Thucydides connection)
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POL200Y1Y L5101 2
R. Balot
The question is: can Socratic dialectic achieve results with someone such as
Thrasymachus (who is outside of traditional morality to begin with)
345B - important passage
oHere, we see that there is a level that rational argument cannot reach due to
them both sharing very little ground
The dialogue soon falls apart and Socrates does not even attempt to continue
Transition to Book 2
Glaucon's introduction is quite different than Thrasymachus'
Glaucon and Adeimantus are both Athenian citizens - differing from book I
oPlato considers these brothers educable (instead of the Book I interlocutors)
oNeither understands their underlying basis for their commitment to justice
358C
oTheir dialogue can only work with those who already subscribe to a common
morality
oThey are seeking an account of justice, but they are already committed to it
oSocrates attempts, therefore, to convince them of the importance of justice yet
II and III end in the same complexity of I.
oHence, he attempts to answer the question of justice and courage, but only
those to already subscribe to it
oTherefore, when pursuing the question of what justice is, you must consider
the audience
Who is being persuaded and how we approach them
Side Question
Why even venture to discover what justice is? Is not ignorance bliss
Socrates would say the unexamined life is not worth living
oTwo reasons for pursuing a definition
You would otherwise open yourself to corrosive forms of skepticism
Which undermine your ignorance
His understanding, or lack of, would lead to mistakes
oe.g. Cephalus is vulnerable to such skepticism
oIs Cephalus' soul in 'bad repair'?
Glaucon's Challenge
Restate's the opposition's case
Three classifications of goods
oThings intrinsically good
oGoods we desire intrinsically and for their consequence (e.g. health etc)
oInstrumentally good things (e.g. bitter medicine)
Socrates believes that his view of justice falls into the second category (like health)
3 consequences of these goods
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Document Summary

Lecture: finishing thrasymachus, transition to book 2, glaucon"s challenge, adeimantus" speech, soul/state analogy, city of pigs, educating warriors, censorship + other provisions. Finishing thrasymachus: tries to "unmask" justice as merely high-minded moral talk. A consequence of this is a diminished respect for justice and the unbridled pursuit of power and wealth . Socrates attempts to defuse his argument by using the argument that crafts/arts are not employed so as to benefit the possessor, but the subject. Thrasymachus counters this by giving examples of arts which do in fact benefit the possessor (i. e. torture). [344c/d: thrasymachus represents the theorist who admires the winner who unabashedly acquires all that he can for his own good. This is parallel to athenian thinking at this time: thrasymachus steers his argument in a different direction. At first he attempts to demonstrate how justice works. Then later, he reveals his own ideas about justice/injustice. In conclusion, he believes that injustice pays and justice is.