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Deﬁnitions of Justice

Thrasymachus’s Definiton of Justice

P1: The stronger are the rulers.

P2: The rulers make the laws.

P3: The rulers make the laws to their own advantage.

P4: The laws constitute what is just.

C: Justice is the advantage of the stronger.

Cephalus’ Definition of Justice

• P1: Justice is telling the truth and paying your debts. (This is Cephalus’s definition.)

• P2: Justice is not harmful. (Unstated premise: The argument is, therefore, an enthymeme.)

• P3: Telling the truth and paying your debts is harmful. (In the case of the insane man and

his weapons.)

• C1: Therefore, justice is not harmful (by P2) and justice is harmful (by P3).

(CONTRADICTION)

• Conclusion 2: Therefore, the statement “Justice is telling the truth and paying your debts”

is false. (By Reductio ad Absurdum; because of the Law of Non-Contradiction)

• Conclusion 3: Therefore, the statement,“It is not the case that justice is telling the truth

and paying your debts” is true. (Because of the Law of Excluded Middle)

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