Thrasymachus Vs Socrates Essay

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In Book 1 and 2 of Plato’s Republic, Thrasymachus and Glaucon present their respective challenges to Socrates regarding the concept of justice. While both of them argue that it is better to be unjust than just, they do so using different rationale and instruments of logic. Thrasymachus presents his challenge by claiming that justice is the advantage of the stronger i.e. the rulers who are in charge, where as injustice advantages oneself. He says that rulers always craft the laws to benefit themselves, and since justice requires obedience to the law, by being just we are not benefiting ourselves but those who are in power. It is worth noting that this reasoning is built on the premise that rulers only make laws to benefit themselves, an assumption…show more content…
Glaucon’s challenge is based on the origins of justice, whether it is good in itself or a necessary evil, along with his threefold division of value. He says that there are three different types of value i.e. things that we want for their own sake, things that we want as a result of their consequences and things that we want for both. This final one is the most coveted, and Glaucon disagrees with Socrates on the placement of justice in this third category. He argues that the best possible outcome for an individual is to treat others unjustly but be treated justly in return, however since this is not a viable outcome the second best option is to treat others justly and be treated the same way by them. The origins of justice lie in a compromise that is made to avoid suffering. We have agreed to treat others justly in order to be treated justly by them, thereby avoiding the suffering that comes with being treated unjustly. He also mentions the ring of Gyges, which allows its wearer to become invisible, and asks whether an intelligent being who is in possession of it would act justly or not. Thus Glaucon claims that justice is at best a necessary evil, and not desirable for its own

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