Plato's Republic/ Kallipolis

Topics: Justice, Political philosophy, Plato Pages: 4 (1469 words) Published: February 28, 2008
What Is Justice?
Webster McGuire
Theoretical Critique Paper #1
Roudy Hildreth POLS 205

What is justice? Obviously, the word can have multiple meanings. If we were to walk in the Student Center and ask ten people what justice was, they probably all would have different responses. I am not saying that they would not have some of the same ideas, but ultimately, their responses would vary. Having said that, what if one of the people's ideas of justice included injustices? For example, Adolf Hitler believed that justice would be reached by completely wiping out Jewish people and creating a "perfect" blonde-haired, blue-eyed Aryan race. He also wanted to rule the entire world. Now, was this actually justice? I would definitely have to disagree, but by the same token, he had thousands of followers. The thought of this is heinous and ludicrous, but it is the truth. I think that a similar argument could be made against Plato. To me, Plato errs in his definition of justice. Plato comes up with the Kallipolis, his idea of a just society. In this society, he strives for perfection. However, he is definitely in contradiction. The problem with this "just" society that he fabricated is that many injustices occur while attempting to reach this level of perfection. In my opinion, justice cannot be reached by using injustices to do so. By the same token, I feel that no matter what, perfection could never be reached because in striving for justice, there is always going to be someone or something that ends up being treated unjustly.

Plato comes up with his final definition of justice as basically, people doing what it is that they were born to do, and not stepping outside the boundaries and interfering by trying to do something other than this (Plato, 139). As stated earlier, Plato comes up with many ideas on how to achieve this level of perfection which he strives to attain. In the end, Kallipolis ends up looking like an oligarchy....

Bibliography: Morgan, Michael L., ed. Classics of Moral and Political Theory/ Plato 's Republic. 4th ed. Indianapolis, Indiana: Hackett Company, 2005. 75-251.
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