Republic Book 2 and 3.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Political Science
Mark Lippincott

Lecture 3: Republic Books II and III Outline of the Lecture 1. Review of Book 1: Thrasymachus’s Challenge 2. Glaucon andAdeimantus (Plato’s brothers): Taking Thrasymachus’s view even further 3. The founding of the city in speech, which occurs in three stages 4. Discussion of the Guardians and their education 5. Looking ahead to the introduction of philosophy (as an aspect of political justice) Review of Book 1 • All subjects are obliged to obey the rules of the strong, which only advances the rules of the strong • The strong are the sources of justice • The subjects who are weak have no choice but to obey • Justice is the law and conventions that the rulers acquire that the ruled obey • Justice is the advantage of the rulers • Injustice is the right and best way to live • He thinks that there are 2 ways for the strong to rule: 1) by way of justice; taking control of the law, only advances the interests of the strong 2) through injustice; by exploiting others, disregarding laws, taking from others, it’s a kind of prudence and wisdom, the better and smarter will serve their interests by short changing others, the just man always loses • Thrasymachus advocates the lack of injustice, he shows it as the more profitable man, the more unjust man gets more money, property, thought by others to be blessed, happy and he has power • Socrates rebuts it by saying things like even robbers have to practice being just, so that they can work with one another • He isn’t the only one to recognize insufficiency; Glaucon also does as well Thrasymachus’s Challenge • Justice as legality • Legality reflects the interests of the strong • Justice (as law-abidingness) therefore furthers the interest of the powerful • Injsutice (i.e. legal disobedience) is the only way to ensure prosperity. One therefore ought to be as unjust as possible: Thrasymachus openly advocates the life of injustice. Glaucon and Adeimantus: Taking Thrasymachus’s view even further • Glaucon andAdeimantus cannot accept the view that is justice is necessary or instrumentally valuable, that it is merely a means to other ends (wealth, honor, political stability, etc.) • Instead they demand a proof of the intrinsic desirability of justice, a proof that justice is desirable regardless of its consequences. Glaucon and Adeimantus: The Defense of Injustice Main difference with Thrasymachus: 1. Thrasymachus thinks that justice originates with the strong, who then impose it on the weak; Glaucon thinks that it originates with the weak, who impose it on each other. 2. Thrasymachus recognizes no participation of the ruled in the setting down of the rules and compacts that constitute justice; Glaucon traces the origins of justice to a simple calculus executed by the many, according to which it is more profitable to set down laws and compacts called just in order to prevent the suffering of injustice 3. Thrasymachus regards justice as a source of unmitigated wretchedness for those who are just; Glaucon describes justice as “pleasing” (359a) and as “honoured” (359a-b) • Glaucon’s strong man is a craftsman, a deceiver; he knows he has to employ a range of skills to gain the advantages he seeks. He has to gain a reputation for strong. When justice arises from a result of taking from many, even the strong who are capable of terrene have to play by rules. Which says that people who are or aren’t unjust have to appear to be just so that they don’t look like outsiders. You need to be seen in two ways; as just or not at all. For Glaucon, no one is unwillingly just. He does this by placing a just and unjust man side by side. The seemingly just man will do good to friends and harm to enemies, offer sacrifices to the gods and will make themselves to be seemingly just to the gods in comparison to the just. The person with a reputation for justice will have a better life than the truly just person. • Adeimantus strategy isn’t to praise justice but at those who do. Those who praise justice say it’s not as important to be just but to seem just. Even divine rewards are said to be about seeming justice not if you actually are. He points out that yes justice is beautiful but it is hard and full of drudgery. The Challenge of the Re-stated • Glaucon andAdeimantus are too clever to be duped by unconvincing arguments for the just life. These young men both see through the phony tributes to justice which they been subjected since birth, and recognize as more profitable the life that involves no compromises, that life that captures the best of both worlds” doing injustice without paying the price. If justice is so unpleasant, why be just? • Both brothers want everything; money, power, glory, love and satisfaction. But they are longing for one thing so good that it forces renouncing other things. They have never found the happiness they truly desire. • What Glaucon andAdeimantus demand of Socrates is a defense of justice “in itself” and “apart from its wages and consequences.” In other words, they want Socrates to demonstrate the desirability in itself or justice, to prove that justice is something one might choose to have for its own sake, something one could actually take delight in and life (357b-c), even if none of the rewards of justice, none of its “honors and gifts,” accrued to the just person (361c). What Glaucon would like to know is “what power [justice] has all alone by itself when it is in the soul’(358b). Why is it good, in other words, to have justice rather that injustice in one’s soul? Why does justice itself, stripped of all its good consequences, make its possessor better, happier than injustice? The founding of the city in speech • The interlocutors join together in the greatest and most revealing of political acts, the founding of a city. Why? Because justice is a quality possessed not only by in
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