Socrates and Thrasymachus

Topics: Question, Plato, Political philosophy Pages: 2 (567 words) Published: October 1, 2008
This section of the text, 336B to 344C, is the beginning of a conversation mainly between Thrasymachus and Socrates on the topic of justice and what is just. Although it is mainly a conversation between Socrates and Thrasymachus, it also includes several other people who happen to be present during the conversation of the two.

This text begins with Thrasymachus eagerly and angrily, jumping into the conversation between Socrates and others on the topic of justice. Thrasymachus immediately attacks Socrates verbally on his manner of teaching others. Stating that Socrates is merely babbling nonsense, Thrasymachus believes that if Socrates actually knows what justice is, he should simply state it and not go through repetitive questioning and counter exampling.

Coming from the fact that Thrasymachus wants an answer from Socrates, he immediately asks Socrates to answer the question himself, stating that we will not accept otherwise. After a bit of conversation, Socrates is able to get Thrasymachus to give his answer to the question, “what is just?” Although Thrasymachus earlier stated that he will not answer first, it becomes obvious that he believes that he has the correct answer to the question. Stating that “just is nothing other than the advantage of the stronger,” Thrasymachus is immediately asked to clarify himself by Socrates. Basically, what Thrasymachus is saying is that the governing rule of a certain land is what is just to that land; furthermore, these governing laws are set by the seemingly stronger. In this case, Thrasymachus refers to the stronger as those who have more political power, rather than those who are physically stronger. He begins to support his idea of what just is by citing different forms of government and stating that the laws that the politically empowered people make, are what just is. He basically sums himself up by saying that what is to the advantage to these governing bodies is indeed what is just.

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