Essay about Theme Of Justice In Plato’s Republic

In Plato’s Republic he attempts to break down the complex idea of Justice, what it means to be just, and if man is just willingly or unwillingly. In Book II of the Republic, Plato uses Glaucon’s Challenge to discuss what it means to be good and just. Two stories are present in the explanation: one of the ancestor of Gyges of Lydia that involves an invisibility ring and what the just person versus the unjust person would do with the power the ring possesses and another of a just man and an unjust man and which one is the preferred life to live. Before Plato explains what it means to be just and unjust, he categorizes types of goodness: there are things that are good-in-itself, things that are good-in-itself and good-for-its-consequences, and then there are things that are just good-for-its-consequences. The revealing of this emphasizes the difficulty of determining what it means to be just. To sum it all up, to be just is someone who does good things, and follows their morals and laws whole-heartedly, while the unjust person does…

Plato writes, “if in our thoughts we grant to a just and unjust person the freedom to do whatever they like. We can then follow both of them and see where their desires would lead. And we’ll catch the just person red-handed travelling the same road as the unjust” (Republic II 359 c). As demonstrated in the “just man vs unjust man” example, the unjust man wants the same reputation and benefits as the just one, but because it’s so common for people to want to be unjust, it is assumed that the most just person is really unjust thus leading them to a bad reputation. So, Those who practice justice, do so unwillingly, as something that’s necessary rather than good, and having a just reputation is only really good for it’s benefits, the conclusion is clear, that those who practice justice do so unwillingly (Republic II 358 c, 359…