A Critical Response of Thrasymachus's View of Justice Essay

1178 WordsOct 25, 20125 Pages
In Plato’s The Republic, there exists a struggle between the characters of Socrates and Thrasymachus to find the correct definition of what justice is. Thrasymachus, being a Sophist, expressed his views on justice in a manner of rash sequences whereby Socrates closely followed behind with his own counter-arguments. These counter-arguments effectively exposed weaknesses in Thrasymachus’s argument for justice, and further crippled it entirely. By outlining and explaining Thrasymachus’s views on justice, I will argue two things; first that the weakness in his argument comes from only himself in abandoning his method. Secondly, that justice may be our deep-rooted understanding and ability to identify good from evil. My motivation for presenting my own definition stems from my frustration in Thrasymachus’s inability to see justice as something much more than a form of legalism Thrasymachus starts his definition by stating that justice is the interest or advantage of the stronger (338c). Immediately after being questioned by Socrates on this definition, Thrasymachus quickly clarifies that the stronger are in-fact the rulers and that justice is in the interest of them alone (339a). Socrates forces the examination of this definition, and results in Thrasymachus then defining interests as the laws that rulers make (338e). From there, Thrasymachus then states that justice, from the perspective of the ruler, is obeying their laws (339b). Socrates responds with three counter-arguments that thwart this definition: that rulers can make mistakes and pass laws that are against their interests (339c), that because of this then obeying the law would not be doing the interest of the ruler (339e) and that therefore obeying the law would not be in the interest of the stronger (339e). So justice cannot be doing the interest of the stronger (339e). Thrasymachus does not accept this

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