But in Book One, Socrates treats the question whether justice is "more profitable" and makes life "better" as equivalent to the question Several people who heard or read earlier versions of this essay have helped. All references to Plato's works are to the text in SlingsDuke et al. Socrates also uses the vocabulary of profit or advantage and that of eudaimonia interchangeably in introducing his defense of justice. At the end of Book Four, before the "digression" of Books Five through Seven, Socrates says, "It remains for us to examine whether acting justly and doing honorable things and being just profit [lusitelei], whether one escapes notice as such or not, or whether acting unjustly and being unjust profit, at least if one doesn't pay the penalty and become better after being punished" ea4.
The Question and the Strategy 1. After Socrates asks his host what it is like being old d—e and rich d —rather rude, we might think—Cephalus says that the best thing about wealth is that Eudaimonia in platos republic can save us from being unjust and thus smooth the way for an agreeable afterlife d—b.
This is enough to prompt more questions, for Socrates wants to know what justice is.
Predictably, Cephalus and then Polemarchus fail to define justice in a way that survives Socratic examination, but they continue to assume that justice is a valuable part of a good human life.
Thrasymachus erupts when he has had his fill of this conversation a—band he challenges the assumption that it is good to be just. The strong themselves, on this view, are better off disregarding justice and serving their own interests directly.
See the entry on Callicles and Thrasymachus. The brothers pick up where Thrasymachus left off, providing reasons why most people think that justice is not intrinsically valuable but worth respecting only if one is not strong enough or invisible enough to get away with injustice.
They want to be shown that most people are wrong, that justice is worth choosing for its own sake. More than that, Glaucon and Adeimantus want to be shown that justice is worth choosing regardless of the rewards or penalties bestowed on the just by other people and the gods, and they will accept this conclusion only if Socrates can convince them that it is always better to be just.
So Socrates must persuade them that the just person who is terrifically unfortunate and scorned lives a better life than the unjust person who is so successful that he is unfairly rewarded as if he were perfectly just see d—d. The challenge that Glaucon and Adeimantus present has baffled modern readers who are accustomed to carving up ethics into deontologies that articulate a theory of what is right independent of what is good and consequentialisms that define what is right in terms of what promotes the good FosterMabbottcf.
Prichard and But the insistence that justice be shown to be beneficial to the just has suggested to others that Socrates will be justifying justice by reference to its consequences. In fact, both readings are distortions, predicated more on what modern moral philosophers think than on what Plato thinks.
At the beginning of Book Two, he retains his focus on the person who aims to be happy. But he does not have to show that being just or acting justly brings about happiness. The function argument in Book One suggests that acting justly is the same as being happy.
But the function argument concludes that justice is both necessary and sufficient for happiness aand this is a considerably stronger thesis than the claim that the just are always happier than the unjust. After the challenge Glaucon and Adeimantus present, Socrates might not be so bold.
Even if he successfully maintains that acting justly is identical to being happy, he might think that there are circumstances in which no just person could act justly and thus be happy. This will nonetheless satisfy Glaucon and Adeimantus if the just are better off that is, closer to happy than the unjust in these circumstances.
See also Kirwan and Irwin He suggests looking for justice as a virtue of cities before defining justice as a virtue of persons, on the unconvincing grounds that justice in a city is bigger and more apparent than justice in a person c—band this leads Socrates to a rambling description of some features of a good city b—c.
This may seem puzzling. The arguments of Book One and the challenge of Glaucon and Adeimantus rule out several more direct routes. But Book One rules this strategy out by casting doubt on widely accepted accounts of justice.
Socrates must say what justice is in order to answer the question put to him, and what he can say is constrained in important ways. Most obviously, he cannot define justice as happiness without begging the question.
But he also must give an account of justice that his interlocutors recognize as justice: Moreover, Socrates cannot try to define justice by enumerating the types of action that justice requires or forbids. We might have objected to this strategy for this reason: But a specific argument in Book One suggests a different reason why Socrates does not employ this strategy.
When Cephalus characterizes justice as keeping promises and returning what is owed, Socrates objects by citing a case in which returning what is owed would not be just c. Wrongful killing may always be wrong, but is killing?
Just recompense may always be right, but is recompense? So Book One makes it difficult for Socrates to take justice for granted. What is worse, the terms in which Socrates accepts the challenge of Glaucon and Adeimantus make it difficult for him to take happiness for granted.
If Socrates were to proceed like a consequentialist, he might offer a full account of happiness and then deliver an account of justice that both meets with general approval and shows how justice brings about happiness.
But Socrates does not proceed like that. He does not even do as much as Aristotle does in the Nicomachean Ethics; he does not suggest some general criteria for what happiness is.
He proceeds as if happiness is unsettled. But if justice at least partly constitutes happiness and justice is unsettled, then Socrates is right to proceed as if happiness is unsettled. In sum, Socrates needs to construct an account of justice and an account of happiness at the same time, and he needs these accounts to entail without assuming the conclusion that the just person is always happier than the unjust.But there is no reason to suppose that the Republic rejects the identity of eudaimonia and good activity (eu prattein, eupragia) which Socrates often assumes in Plato’s Socratic dialogues (Charmides e–a, Crito 48b, Euthydemus e–d, Gorgias c).
Brown, Eudaimonia in Plato's Republic — 10 There is a natural conception of eudaimonia that makes sense of all three of Socrates' arguments.7 Eudaimonia might just be the presence of good feelings (such as pleasure) and the absence of bad feelings (such as pain).
Plato's Republic - INP UW. Brown, Eudaimonia in Plato's Republic — 4!! 5 Annas' Introduction, still the best such available, has no place in its index for eudaimonia, happiness, or anything similar. The Blackwell Guide to Plato's Republic offers only one direct paragraph (Keyt , ).
Etc. Brown, Eudaimonia in Plato's Republic — 11 find in the Republic a view that locates eudaimonia in good feelings and the absence of bad feelings.8 Since Socrates' arguments for the superiority of justice appeal to the Democritean conception of eudaimonia, one might be tempted to suppose that Socrates accepts it.
9 But this cannot be right. Like most other ancient philosophers, Plato maintains a virtue-based eudaemonistic conception of ethics.
That is to say, happiness or well-being (eudaimonia) is the highest aim of moral thought and conduct, and the virtues (aretê: ‘excellence’) are the requisite skills and dispositions needed.