Plato's Republic

Plato’s Republic is an elaborate language game. All of Plato’s opponents are terrible arguers.
In book one. Plato argues about the nature of justice, while claiming that he knows nothing of it. Instead he tries to topple Thrasymachus by sneaking in ‘ideas’, which Thrasymachus should have immediately rejected.
How could Plato argue about the nature of justice when he does not already know what is the just? It is like people on this forum arguing about the nature of God when they can’t even define the word God. The rest of the Republic, is a colossal mistake that flows from Plato’s inability to define the meaning of the word justice.
What does the word justice mean? The meaning of the word justice has as much and as many meaning as the word “dafusiodpa”.

However, common usuage defines justice as giving back what is owed. Plato argues that it would be ‘injustice’ to give back what is owed to an enemy. Plato failed to seperate justice with fear. Giving weapon to the enemy would be detrimental to one’s chances of survival. But such action, by common usuage would be just, although irrational. Plato plays with words “justice” and “rational”, mixing words up, basically an elaborate language game.

I wonder who said “everything after Plato are just footnotes”? That person must have read only one book. Plato is a disasterous political philosopher like Rawls. I bet if we don’t publish papers condemning Rawls’ ignorance. One day, Rawls may get pronounced holy. I am on an intellectual crusade to rid the world of ignorance. Target 1) Plato’s republic, (I think Nietzsche wrote something on it), 2) Theory of justice. Two great evils which must be crushed.

It is sarcasm on his part… also a rhetorical device. Who does Plato speak through in the book? Socrates. What was Socrates noted for saying (well several things, but among them) “I am wise in that I know nothing.”

Of course, he knew plenty of things, but he needed that attitude to employ the dialectical method, which, according to plato, is the path needed to reach a higher kind of knowledge.

No it isn’t. The early part of the book entails Plato attempting to get his listeners to think Philosophically… to prepare them better for his answer. If plato had just said “justice is an agent that acts to provide equity in opportunity to secure harmony through rational thought”… well they might have all said “huh”.

That might be so… if it is, then some meanings would be better then others. Perhaps one meaning and one meaning alone would best exemplify what Justice is.

As a Philosopher… is it more important to blindly accept what is used commonly or to at least question that first to see if what is held in common is flawed in some way? A single lemming will follow other lemmings… off a cliff sometimes.

In the Phaedo Plato has Socrates saying, basically, that Philosophers must pursue death, not fear it. In the Republic itself Plato makes use of the notion of courage to achieve something good. Plato isn’t arguing about how we can live a long life… he is arguing about how we can live a Just life.

I think you missed his point… to achieve one you must have the other. It is for the rational mind that Justice is possible, it is in a Just society that rational thinking may flourish.

Plato was a bit too much in love with Spartan Society, I agree, but seriously, if you are as smart as you think you are, would you really want to be ruled by a mob? What if, with your keen intellect, you knew that the Mob would implement something you knew would result in disaster, death, destruction, and that you, personally, might suffer as a result. But still you have to go along with it… can’t beat a mob by yourself, and all that… is that possibility scary to you? Furthermore… does such a system seem remotely “Just” to you?

I wish you all the best. :sunglasses:

Sadly, no one philosopher was ever on the mark. I mean, would you listen to a guy that listens to a “voice”, and worships a multitude of phony gods? Of course not…

…but despite this, Plato was still on the mark enough to lay the ground work for western philosophy. This is an accomplishment that few others have ever achieved. :wink:

much better to trust the guy who talks to the enflamed shrub…

-Imp

I hope you only mean in The Republic. I always thought Phaedrus was a great partner for Plato’s Socratic dialogs. :wink:

GCT

This is an example of language game. “I am wise in that I know nothing.” which means “I am wise in that I know (so many questions that I can not yet answer.)”
I have a question here.

Assume,

  1. a fool has ten questions and knows answer to ten questions.
  2. Plato has fifty questions and knows answer to ten questions.

Is plato in any way wiser than the fool?

“As a Philosopher… is it more important to blindly accept what is used commonly or to at least question that first to see if what is held in common is flawed in some way?”

You are absolutely right. It is good to be skeptical. But the question of justice is different. Justice as a word has a definition. There can be no argument about it, for a definition is a definition.
If tall is defined as someone above 1.2 metres. Then that is a definition. If I define “adfdsf” as “good”, then that’s the definition, no logic arguing about it.

What is a just life? what is a good life?

“I think you missed his point… to achieve one you must have the other. It is for the rational mind that Justice is possible, it is in a Just society that rational thinking may flourish.”

plato in book 2 talks about a just city. there he is adding another meaning to the word just. He should have just invented his own word for the sake of confusion and ambiguity.

mob rule - After all the thinking I’ve done. I’ve come to a conclusion. The things you talked about “death, destruction…” are all simply situations. Death is a situation, destruction is a situation. There is no Rational preference for life over death. There is no Rational preference for peace over destruction. When people state their preferences for life over death, they are acting arationally. At that point where the mob want death and you want life, you will become the same as the mob for you have no more reason than the mob, but only a prejudicial preference for life.