PHILO-120 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Glaucon, Counterexample, Thought Experiment
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Intro to Philosophy
Thrasymachus’s Arguments in Republic 1
● First Argument: What counts as Justice depends on laws enacted by rulers.
○ In every city, the stronger rule.
○ In every city, the rulers make laws advantageous to themselves.
○ In every city, justice consists in obedience to those laws.
○ So in every city, justice consists in obedience of those laws.
○ Therefore, since the rulers are stronger, justice is the advantage of the stronger.
● Socrates’s Procedure
○ Advance counterexamples
■ Counterexample: an example that contradicts or opposes an idea or theory.
■ What are some counter arguments Socrates used?
● Second Argument: Justice is merely of who is in power and when. The unjust person is
happier than the just person because he/she achieves their own advantage. Injustice is
“wisdom” in that an unjust person will achieve their own advantage.
○ The just man is everywhere at a disadvantage in comparison to the unjust man.
○ The unjust man is stronger than the just man.
○ Injustice is stronger than justice.
○ The stronger is everywhere at an advantage in comparison to the just man.
○ Justice is the advantage of the stronger.
○ But therefore justice is the good of another. (Nothing can be stronger than itself.)
○ Injustice is one’s advantage.
■ Corollary: Justice is virtue or wisdom. (348e1-3)
● Structure of Republic 2:
○ Glaucon’s Challenge (Stript the concept of Justice and focus on how being justice
benefits to the individuals regardless of the person is taken to be Just.)
■ Distinction between goods: intrinsic; extrinsic; intrinsic & extrinsic
● Socrates believed Justice is valuable for own sake and in virtue of
■ Origins of justice
● According to Glaucon, justice is a convention people enter into
because they’re afraid of being the victims of injustice.
■ Rings of Gyges
● “Thought experiment” (device of the imagination used to
investigate the nature of things)
○ See above notes.
○ Meant to put pressure on what justice is.
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