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Republic by Plato

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In the book, Republic, by Plato, Thrasymachus and Glaucon discuss the issue of justice. Thrasymachus and Glaucon have differing ideas on the meaning and description of justice. In this paper, I shall demonstrate that Glaucon and Thrasymachus have opposing views on justice by its definition and whether justice is better or worse than injustice. They disagree on what constitutes as justice because Thrasymachus believes that justice is beneficial for the stronger while Glaucon has two opposing beliefs of justice. These beliefs are dependent upon nature or society. Glaucon argues that there are three types of good, but only one defines justice.

Thrasymachus argues that people who are weaker are just and people who are superior to them are unjust. Thrasymachus says, "I say justice is nothing more than what is advantageous for the stronger." In Thrasymachus' view, just people are worse off than those of more power, especially tyrants. Tyrants, and other rulers, become powerful by committing injustices. This makes them more powerful than those who are more just and righteous. They know how to take over and make people fall under their rule, even though the ruler cares more about himself rather than those of his people. Since rulers make the legislations, they make their rules in their favor. Thrasymachus says that a ruler will only make a rule that is useless for him if it is by error or mistake, but if a ruler makes a mistake, they are not really a ruler. A ruler or craftsman will always do what is valuable for him and unfavorable for others. Thrasymachus' definition of justice is what is advantageous for the stronger. In other words, those who are weaker are put in positions of lower power rather than those who are stronger who are put into higher power. Tthe stronger commit more injustices than the weaker.

According to Glaucon, outside of society and in a state of nature, justice is preferable for everyone but the stronger. Once society sets up laws, there is an agreement not to do injustice. Glaucon believes that justice is an agreement that prevents individuals from committing injustice through laws and contracts. Glaucon's idea is that people of society should trust others to be just and believe that justice is important. These compromises are profitable in order to not suffer injustices while not committing injustices towards others. Glaucon continues to say that this trust can benefit oneself, as long as others believe that one is just, even if that person commits injustices. This is because injustice is what is found to be satisfying by nature for the stronger. A person can choose to do injustice and in turn lead a content and fulfilled life, like the clever craftsman. The clever craftsman lives unjustly, but still maintains the reputation of being a just person. Glaucon believes that in nature, justice is better to follow for the weaker, but injustice is more advantageous for the stronger. In nature, there is a desire to do better. When talking about society, rules are set up in order to not commit injustice towards others. Even though there are laws that are against injustices, people do not need to follow them as long as they have the reputation of being a just person.

Thrasymachus and Glaucon have differing views. In summary, Thrasymachus believes that justice is what is advantageous for the stronger and Glaucon believes that in nature justice is preferable only for the weak, but not for the strong. In society, laws and contracts are made against committing injustices towards others in order for people of society not to suffer injustices. Although the rule is to not commit injustice, people may commit injustices

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