Summary Of Glaucon's Response To Socrates '

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In response to Glaucon’s claim that perfect tyranny is the happiest life, Socrates shows that an unjust man who appears to be just may receive certain benefits in the moment, but these benefits are fleeting compared to punishment later. Glaucon tells the story of a young shepherd who finds a ring which could make him invisible just by turning it. When the man realizes the ring’s magical powers, he seduces the king’s wife and kills the king, taking over his thrown. Because this is all done while he is invisible, the shepherd is not punished for his crimes but is actually indirectly rewarded since he gets to live out this new life. This story shows that “no one is willingly just but only when compelled to do so” (360c), the compelling force being fear of punishment. To this statement, Socrates proposes that they…show more content…
He suggests this because a city is bigger than a person which means it must have more justice, making it easier to locate justice. Through a city in speech Socrates comes to the conclusion that a city will best succeed if everyone practices their one function in the city; from this, they agree that “justice is the minding of one’s own business and not being a busybody” (IV, 433a). While this gives them what justice is exactly, it does not respond to Glaucon’s statement that unjust men are happier. It is through the Myth of Er that Socrates proves to Glaucon how it is better for man to be just. Er was a man who died in battle but then came back to life on the twelfth day and told everyone of what he saw: after each person died, they went on a thousand year journey. “For all the unjust deeds they had done anyone and all the men to whom they had done injustice, they had paid the penalty for every one in turn, ten times over for each” (X, 614a). This shows that even if a person is unjust on earth and does not get caught, he will pay a

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