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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Present And Discuss The Views Submitted By Socrates And Thrasymachius In The First Book Of Platos Republic - 1092 words
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.. nd happier lives in comparison with just men. He suggests that everything has a function and its peculiar excellence, without which it would not be able to perform its function. For example, the function of the eyes is sight and if they lacked their peculiar excellence they would not be able to perform their function. Socrates argues that the function of the mind is life and that as its peculiar excellence is justice, therefore if the mind contains the antithesis of justice then it will not be able to perform its function optimally. Therefore, the just mind and just man will have a good, happy and prosperous life, while the unjust man will have a miserable life.
In order to explicate the claims of Socrates and Thrasymachus examples of craftsmanship have been employed. It is possible to argue that both sides to this argument rely heavily on the parallel between the relationship a craftsman has with his subject to justify their positions. However, I do not feel that a comparison between a doctor and the practice of medicine, and a ruler and the practice of justice is appropriate, since there is no concrete definition of justice. We are attempting to justify the necessity of justice without defining it, which is absurd. If we substitute the example of a doctor for other professions then this criticisms becomes clearer. For example, a fashion designer subject is fashion
However, fashion is an evolving and malleable subject that is only defined by what popular and there are dispute concerning whether it is popular with consumers or with the designers themselves. It may be question whether we have an intrinsic sense of fashion instilled within us or whether we are controlled by the beliefs of another, which we can relate to justice. It is possible to ask whether justice is something tangible concept that we all have or whether our sense of justice is defined by the ruling power. However, we do not have a clear answer because we have not defined what justice is in this discussion. Although I recognise that vocations in the fifth century were fewer and more community grounded than those in the twenty-first, it is necessary to evaluate Plato's arguments in a contemporary context because these theories are designed to define justice in a timeless manner. The point raised by my comparison is that however plausible the analogy there is a fundamental flaw in comparing justice with fashion, medicine and sheep, and as these examples are used to based arguments upon we cannot evaluate either argument properly. One major criticism of Plato is that his characters and arguments are superficial and only allow for two extreme of the unquantifiable subject of justice.
The arguments posited by Socrates and Thrasymachus suggest that men are exceptionally just or exceptionally unjust, geniuses and ignoramuses, with no intermediate levels. Even Plato's presentation of his characters adopts this monochrome attitude. The propositions that he wishes to discredit are posited by an unsavoury idiot, while the views that he wishes to credit are presented by a sage and calm intellectual. Plato uses examples of craftsmanship to support his arguments, which generates the problem that without defining justice, Plato refers to unjust and just men, without acknowledging that human nature may contain both attributes and both necessary facets for the attainment of a fulfilling life. To elucidate my criticism I will use an example of a vocation from modern commerce, a marketing executive.
We may at first argue that marketing executives execute their responsibilities with introversion and avarice. However, if we accept Socrates argument that a person that may be called a 'real' marketing executive works to promote a product, for it is the product that is the subject and the fact that he earns a wage for this execution is an additional to his vocation. We may then discuss Socrates suggestion that 'just men will only compete against unjust men, while the unjust men will compete with the just and unjust alike' . Part of this duty is to make the product in question more popular than any other similar product on the market. These other products will be represented by other marketing companies and other marketing executives.
There must be cooperation between people of the same kind in order to achieve any action as a group. Therefore, since there is competition there must be disunity, which displays injustice and ignorance. If Socrates is correct then marketing executives and similar occupations are all unjust. However, in order to run a marketing business successfully there must be unity within companies, which suggests that they cannot be unjust or squabble amongst themselves as Socrates implies. It becomes clear that human nature and behaviour cannot be generalised in this way because human beings have the capacity to be both just and unjust, especially when justice has not been defined. Thrasymachus and Socrates raise some important points in relation to the nature of justice, although it is possible to suggest that they are debating on different planes, the former positing an argument of how justice is and the latter presenting how it should be.
Thrasymachus believes that justice is doing what is best for someone else and that it is therefore 'the advantage of the strong' and that injustice provides a better life and is a position of strength that provides a more prosperous existence. Socrates proposes that justice is in favour of 'the weaker party' and is a position of strength that provides a more fulfilling life. However, both arguments attempt to provide an explanation for the nature of justice without defining it and base their arguments on tangible concepts such as crafts and professions in order to give weight to their beliefs. Without a definition of the subject we cannot make a concrete comparison as it is unrealistic to try to prove that the nature of justice is the same as the nature of medicine. In addition, both arguments endeavour to confine human nature to extremes, just and unjust, knowledgeable and ignorant, and good and bad, without acknowledging the depth of the human experience and intermediate levels that we have. The conclusions of these arguments are incongruous with human nature and when we speak of justice, we are trying to define a concept that has distinct links with human nature.
Therefore, I cannot say that either of the positions is 'right' as neither acknowledge my nature and have attempted to justify that justice is a commodity to desire or expel without explicating justice itself. Word Count: 2120BibliographyPlato, The Republic, (Penguin Books, 2003).
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