Plato Paper

Topics: Soul, Plato, Justice Pages: 8 (3226 words) Published: December 13, 2010
Plato Paper

What is the nature of justice? Looking from Plato’s perspective justice can be broken down to its simplest forms. Plato starts where we start; with forms. Forms are the building blocks that build complex ideas and tell us the nature of those ideas. In this case Plato reveals his ideas on the nature of justice through forms. The nature of justice can be simplified to basic forms and rebuilt for everyone can understand. Early in discussion is the topic is consent. Consent must be under free will though. One can give consent under great pressures, which would ultimately be false. The way Plato described the natural city begins with need and consent. Everyone agrees to how their lives should be lead, and they all work together to achieve that. This interdependence is what the natural city thrives on. I’m on the side of Plato in his argument of the natural city. This logic is not only seen in cities but every day life. The idea of a city is similar to that of a team. Within a city and a team, each person has a particular job that helps others. If only one person were to do all the work a city would collapse and a team would lose. I believe that consent is comparable to cooperation. Again, a city must work together in order to progress, and give consent to one another for the good of the city. Of course one cannot lead and force others to consent, but for one to lead for the good of the city requires justice. After the establishment of consent, there is an issue of opinion versus fact. Basic knowledge is a key for a just city in the sense that there is a point at which people of a city may agree. Plato opens the idea of forms, basic knowledge common to all. People can agree on what a certain object may be, even though particular objects vary and perish, those objects are recognized by a form. These forms as Plato states are imprints that we conceive. We imagine what courage is by imaging a soldier holding his ground or an officer in the line of duty. These forms are not something we don’t originally know, but something we uncover through experience. These forms are not material, and do not fade. An object itself may perish, yet we still perceive what form an object was or will be due to our knowledge. As we said a desk is a desk; that is simple. So Plato challenges what justice is. The form of justice can be complicated through discussion and said to be perceived differently by people, but justice on simplest terms is common between us all. Justice may be helping another pick up the books they dropped, and injustice would be the person that knocked those books out of the person’s hands. The cause of justice can be described through morals of sorts, but can be easily distorted through words. So when Plato tells us that we have knowledge of these forms, though they are used to describe infinitely different situations, the forms are constant. I believe in this because I wouldn’t walk outside and call one tree a tree, then the next a basket. There are many trees, but the form of one is an imprint in my mind that I can picture without one in front of my face. The use of forms allows us to describe justice without twisting images as words tend to, just as sophist often did. Plato considers each person has an art in the city. He brings forth that one man is better at farming rather than making clothes. It wouldn’t make sense that a baker would take on the art of a doctor. ‘Again, would one man do better working at many tasks or one at one?...the result, then, is that more things are produced, and better and more easily when one man performs one task according to his nature…’ (151-153). Plato suggests that each person has something to offer the city; an art that they practice to serve others. The practice of an art though is to the benefit of the weaker by those who possess the intellect and just morals to serve their art. Since no single person can be self sufficient they depend on others for...
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