28 January 2014
PLATO’S REPUBLIC: BOOK I
The republic is better translated as “the regime”
The question of the republic is: whether one of the virtues, justice, is choice-worthy in
itself or only for its accessory advantages (like pleasure or advantage/profit) by nature or by
Justice: what is the best way to live in light of the self community relation. Is justice what
makes a city prosper or an individual. What is the best way to live?
If you give a weapon back to someone but he’s not in his rt mind is it just?
This text is about the soul and the state the two are inextricably bound. Socrates starts with the
state because it’s easier to see.
Forms: the human mind consults the idea or form (bed) the form of the bed is what the
mind grasps in order to understand the obj in front of it. the platonic argument is that the form of
the bed is more real then the actual bed bc the actual bed is in the material world which is
constantly fluxing and changing. In Greek philosophy you can’t know something that is
changing. That which is knowable is unchanging. The material world is unknowable. Human
mind to ben form (idea) is an epistemological participation. The bed (idea/form) to the object is
the ontological participation. There are many materialistic beds but only one idea.
Thrasymachus enters (the sophist)
Radical, cynical and non aphoristic (uncritical) account “justice is nothing more that the
strong over the weak.” More profitable to be unjust then just. It is a sham an attempt by those in
power for self interest.
Rulers rule for their own gain payment is evidence of that
Socrates turns desire for payment around on him
Sheep/flock analogy shepherd isn’t interested in the flock for the flock’s sake. He wants
to fatten them up to sell them. Soc says when he’s a shepherd he does care for the flock when
he’s a money maker he’s trying to fatten them up to sell them. Who’s wise for that art is good in
Socrates rejection of thrasy sophism:
1. thrasy holds unconventional view injustice is a virtue 28 January 2014
2. justice (in the traditional sense) would be necessary for any person to
accomplish his ends (honor among thieves).
3. Justice is the health of the soul. (this is the line Socrates will persue justice as
a sort of harmonia).
GLAUCONAND ADEIMANTUS MAKE THE QUESTION MORE DIFFICULT FOR
SOCROTESAND HE FEIGNS DEFEAT
1. a good that is pleasant in and of itself with no real adv consequences for its pursuer
2. the finest kind: a good pleasant in and of itself but also brings adv consequences to its
3. a good that is not pleasant (drudgery but brings about adv consequences
ad and glau want to know where justice falls and Socrates wants to say it falls into the finest
Uses the ring of gyges appropriated an old story to subvert justice
The two statues (switching wages)
Adiemantus’account: don’t only show justice is stronger, show what each does to the
man who has it show that a man who has lost everything and being tortured still takes pleasure in
“… Socrates must show that justice satisfies even the man who looses everything for it,
and that his happiness is akin to these sensations of the man immersed in the pleasures of the
“The Switching of the Wages”
the unjust man is punished and suffers
the just man get rewards honors/accolades and wellbeing
but they decide to switch the wages and show that you still choose justice.
***did Socrates conception of justice go with your own experience or did it fall flat?***
the stronger killed Socrates and said it was just 28 January 2014
can justice and the other virtues be shown to be good in themselves?And the opp bad in
themselves? If so it will be choice worthy irrespective of their benefits?
Socrates wants to start with cities rather than the individual. Use the just city bc bigger
things are easier to see then use the state as an analogy for the soul. If he can show the state is
just and show the state is one:one as the soul then you must accept that the soul is just.
Tripartite regime=Tripartite soul
Division of State
“The Gold” “Philosopher Guardians” brightest and rarest. Weed them out early in
school with tests. Wisdom.
“The Silver” “Military/Auxilary Forces” good soldiers.