Developing the Definition of Justice in the Republic of Plato

Topics: Plato, Justice, Political philosophy Pages: 3 (1187 words) Published: November 25, 2012
In the Republic of Plato, Justice has been discussed in the first two chapters. Many conversations are presented either by people engaged in these debates or Socrates himself leading these debates. Individuals engaged in the debates discuss on how can a person be “Just” or “Unjust” to get to the main understanding of “Justice” itself. In particular to be a just person, this justification has to be examined on the political sense, which is basically the definition of justice in the city, and in the psychological level in a person. That person would do his/her best to create a just city and would obey all the laws in the city to become a “Just” person in the perfectly said “Just city”. In this just city there are different groups of people who are ordinary class citizens, guardians/soldiers who fight for the city and rulers at the top. The rulers are the ones with power and knowledge who are required to create justice so that a whole city established accordingly. Soldiers also known as guardians are also in the level of power and have the share of the knowledge that alone among all the other kinds of knowledge are to be called wisdom and this wisdom would helped them secure the city and the citizens in times of need. The wisdom enjoyed by the rulers would be used to ensure that the city has good judgment. The guardians/soldiers of the city would be educated in order to absorb the laws in the finest possible way. At the beginning of Book II, Plato’s brothers challenge Socrates to define Justice in the mankind. This conversation goes along until to the point that there were only two people involve in the speech for the definition of Justice in the presence of Socrates; Polemarchus and Glaucon. This essay will interpret the idea of justice based on Polemarchus’ idea of justice and Glaucon’s critique of justice in general to Polemarchus’ understanding of justice in particular.

Of the characters in the Republic, only Polemarchus champions in justice in its...
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