An Introduction to Plato's Republic by Julia Annas PDF

By Julia Annas

ISBN-10: 0198274289

ISBN-13: 9780198274285

This interpretive creation presents specified perception into Plato's Republic. Stressing Plato's wish to stimulate philosophical pondering in his readers, Julia Annas the following demonstrates the coherence of his major ethical argument at the nature of justice, and expounds similar options of schooling, human motivation, wisdom and realizing. In a transparent systematic type, this ebook indicates that smooth ethical philosophy nonetheless has a lot to benefit from Plato's try and stream the point of interest from questions of what acts the simply individual should practice to the extra profound questions of what kind of individual the simply individual needs to be.

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No wonder his beliefs about j ustice collapse at the first query . Two points are worth noticing here . Firstly, Thrasymachus is going to go on to champion the idea that life is, in fact, a competition where everyone is, whether they like it or not, trying to do everyone else down, and he emphatically rej ects the idea that j ustice is really an impartial notion that might req uire one to recognize virtue in an enemy and wickedness in a friend . Polemarchus is inconsistent ; but if you hold inconsistent views it is open to you to rej ect either of them.

Plato's good person i s a person in whom reason is supreme ; but we can see from this argument that he does not mean by reasoning, mere means-end reasoning, the efficient calculation of the technocrat . Polemarchus i s confused, but prepared t o stick t o h i s basic idea, and restates his position ( 3 34b) : j ustice is to help your friends and harm you r enemies. Socrates picks him up : what exactly does he mean by 'friends' anc:l 'enemies' ? Polemarchus says that a man's friends are those he thinks good , his enemies those he thinks bad .

If ruling is a skill, and a skill in the strict sense as Thrasymachus has insisted, then the ruler exercises it not in his own interest but in that of his subj ects. Plato sets some store by this argument, for it is summed up at 343a as having turned the account of j us tice round into its opposite : Thrasymachus had claimed that j ustice was obeying the laws of rulers who ruled in their own interests, whereas Socrates has shown that ruling, so far from being essentially self-interested , is essentially not self-interested : in so far as a ruler is self-interested he is not strictly speaking a ruler.

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An Introduction to Plato's Republic by Julia Annas


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