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Plato's Idea that Justice Is a Condition of the Soul - Essay Example

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PLATO’S IDEA THAT JUSTICE IS A CONDITION OF THE SOUL Name Institution According to Plato, justice in the soul of a person is a similar condition to Justice in the state. It entails harmonious governance by a wise ruler. Each part of the entire state does exactly the work which it’s naturally best suited…
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Platos Idea that Justice Is a Condition of the Soul
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Download file to see previous pages Even though this monarch has supreme power, he does not agree to rule because of love for power (Irwin 1999, p.67). It is because of knowledge of the Good that the monarch will focus on doing what he or she does best for the benefit of the whole community. An ideally just state has classes of citizens in which every class has its suitable virtue. Ideal guardians have courage, ideal rulers rule wisely, and ideal producers are calm. Each class of citizens performs the type of work which best suits them and never interferes with proper business for citizens in other classes. To Plato, in an individual’s soul, justice entails being governed by that component of the soul that has the best capacity to rule other parts of the soul that is reason. It is for the reason that, only reason can attain knowledge due its love for truth. However, it can be oppressed and overwhelmed by powerful wishes which have enslaved the spirited part. The other parts of the soul include desire or appetite and spirit, which do not function with the aim of obtaining knowledge, rather aims at its own good. The spirit controls, initiates actions, and persists one’s actions. It also makes decisions and choices, while appetite focuses on attaining necessities of the body. Spirit however, cannot decide wisely unless it is notified by the coherent part of the soul on the best thing to do in a situation. Most importantly, when an individual’s soul is governed by their reason and they are wise, they will never do wrong, since the spirited element of their soul will automatically side with the rational part. The basic idea of the soul in Plato’s work provides that it is a component that can initiate motion, needless to be moved by anything else (Nehamas 2000, p. 98). A search for the meaning of justice would ultimately lead to two meanings: Justice is doing personal job precisely, and Justice is harmony. The overall aim of Plato’s idea that justice is a condition of the soul is to give a defense of justice through showing that an in individual is better off when he is just than when he is unjust. This brings out well-known criticisms on the above defense. First, it commits a fallacy of irrelevance, providing citizens with the incorrect reason for being just. Despite a barrier that Plato puts in his own way, he possesses answers to all these criticisms. The answers commit him to a view much similar to the intuitionism forms that were held earlier in past centuries. Consequently, it makes it uncertain that Plato should be taken to embrace an agent-centered rather than an act centered justice theory. Moreover, it leaves him to face criticisms parallel to those raised against the latter forms of intuitionism (Rosen 2005, p. 186). Plato’s description of justice as every part carrying out its part of balance is satisfying, but most significantly, they must be all balanced. Such balance is not illustrated well in Platonic ideas. We must appreciate the body, the mind, and the spirit equally, since none is more important than the other so that we can achieve happiness and justice, which will finally create good life. His believe that just life is natural and should come from man’s fulfillment of his natural function imply some design to the world, which may not be so practical. There is no perfect objective reality, neither is there natural purpose or end to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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