POLS 2900 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Distributive Justice, Thought Experiment, Polemarchus

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Begins with a group of friends, and enemies, where socrates poses the question of what justice is and why men should be just. He lays out a new definition of justice: justice means that you owe friends help, and you owe enemies harm. Though this definition may seem different from that suggested by cephalus, they are closely related. They share the underlying imperative of rendering to each what is due and of giving to each what is appropriate: this leads us to help the good and harm the bad because friendship is not universal. Socrates argues that since it was agreed that justice is a virtue of the soul, and virtue of the soul means health of the soul, justice is desirable because it means health of the soul. Since we can all suffer from each other"s injustices, we make a social contract agreeing to be just to one another.

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