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Comparison in Political Philosophy - Essay Example

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Introduction Socrates has been credited as one of the founding fathers of Western Philosophy despite the fact that he left no written texts and most of his teachings were only referred by other philosophers. He is also considered as one who developed the method of dialectic inquiry to understand and explore different ethical questions…
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Comparison in Political Philosophy
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"Comparison in Political Philosophy"

Download file to see previous pages His recognition that knowledge is limited and all he know is that he don’t know anything is based upon recognizing the limits of wisdom and morality. His take on virtues was relatively different from others as he argued that best way a person can live is through the self development rather than possession of material wealth. The given quote to be discussed in this paper therefore is also relatively focused upon the notion of self development and making a person to judge the virtues based on his inner-self rather than focusing on the outer reality of a person. For Socrates truth lies beneath the existence and it is the responsibility of the Philosopher to actually show the way to the people. This paper will discuss one of the statements of the Socrates and will make a comparison of the same with the philosophy of Machiavelli. Socrates’ Statement The statement made by Socrates appeared in the Republic written by Plato and is described in following manner: “And Justice was in truth, it appears, something like this. It does not lie in man’s external actions, but in the way he acts within himself, really concerned with himself and his inner parts” Socrates philosophy was based upon the truth and justice therefore the above statement indicates that there is noting right or wrong in its absolute nature. Actions which are beneficial therefore should be taken and those which are not beneficial, a person should refrain from the same. (Porter) With this statement, Socrates therefore attempted to dispel the notion that truth and justice cannot be the advantage for stronger. It therefore does not lie into the person’s external reality but is based upon the notion of finding it within the inner parts of a person. Here Socrates also seemed to have given a clear indication of two parts of an individual i.e. the body and the soul and outlines that each part actually is its own master. Socrates also seemed to hint that it is the individual who actually can drive the self and therefore commands the body and the soul. It is therefore within this perspective that truth and justice lies within a person and not in his external actions which is often against the conventional wisdom. It is also important to understand that Socrates has viewed the just man in a relatively different manner. He outlined that a just person cannot harm because for him receiving and giving harm is relatively more painful. This line of thinking therefore is clearly associated with the alignment of the ideas of justice and just person with the assumption that the justice and truth is within a person. The above statement may also be viewed from the larger point of view taken by Thrasymachus who maintained that justice is what is advantageous to the stronger. Socrates however seemed to disagree with this and suggested that justice is within a person and is not directly correlated with the person’s external status. It is because of this reason that Socrates accepts that in truth and justice, a person really acts for himself. Machiavelli and Justice One of the key aspects of this debate will be based upon how Machiavelli and Socrates actually view the individuals. According to Socrates, a just person cannot harm others and justice is therefore based upon helping others. Machiavelli however, seems to disagree with that and suggest that a Prince can adapt to cruelty to his subjects while at the same time ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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