Thrasymachus' View on Justice

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In the book, “The Republic”, there is an argument between Socrates and Thrasymachus, a sophist in ancient Greece. This argument is over their two very different opinions about the nature of justice. While Socrates argues that justice is an important good, Thrasymachus disagrees and states that injustice is an important good, not justice. To support his view, Thrasymachus offers three claims about justice. The first is that justice is nothing but the advantage of the stronger. Second, that justice is obedience to laws and lastly, justice is nothing but the advantage of another, returning no benefit to the one who is just. It should be noted that all three of these claims are dealing with a ruler of a state, whether democratic or tyrannical. Since these claims were made on a large scale, I will discuss how Thrasymachus’ opinion that justice is nothing but the advantage of the stronger is flawed when it is applied to a ruler of a government such as ours. To do so, we will first look at Thrasymachus’ definition on the nature of justice, and examine what exactly is in the interest of the ruler. First, we must understand what Thrasymachus meant by “justice or right is simply what is in the interest of the stronger party.” (p.18). When looking at a large scale, argument, clearly this means the ruling party of whatever government may be present. Relating this to our government for a comparison, it would be the current party elected and the prime minister. As well, when he is talking about interest, he is referring to whatever may empower or benefit the ruling party, such as laws that can be passed. Thrasymachus also claims that it is in the interest of the ruled to be just, and as a society we must subordinate ourselves to the interests of someone in authority. From this, we can gather that while the ruled must be just and promote the interest of another, the ruler must
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