An Interpretation of Socrates Dialogues

Precisely, erotic Glaucoma challenges Socrates to defend Justice despite the powerful attractions that life of injustice holds. Eros in this sense comprise of two sides: the attraction to nobility and purity on ones side, and the tyrannical on the other. In implication, Glaucoma wants Justice to be defended as simply and purely good: that is good in SE per SE, and without regard for its consequences. In this quagmire, Socrates suggests that he cannot defend Justice precisely in those terms but exerts himself to come to its defense.

Therefore, in the Socrates’ defense of justice, he postulates first to define Justice by finding it in a city of speech rather than the city that cannot be actualities. From this understanding, this essay examines evidence from the texts, in an endeavor to discuss how the constructions of the Just city of speech provides a response to Glaucoma’s challenge, an articulation to the problem of Justice, and its correlation to the contemporary human concerns.

Glaucoma sets up a threefold classification of goods: those desired for their own sake, those desired for their consequences and those desirable both for their sake and for their uniqueness (ICC-36th). In this chapter, Glaucoma believes that Justice is practiced only for its presumed consequences and not for its intrinsic qualities. He challenges Socrates to defend Justice strictly based on its inherent goodness, although Socrates has already told him that he understands Justice to be preferred both for itself and for its results.

Glaucoma’s challenge presupposes the impossibility of the good life. In order for Socrates to win, he must take the offensive and attack the counter ideal of the unjust life. In this scenario, Glaucoma begins by introducing a classification of odds into three types and asks Socrates to which class Justice belongs (AAA-IEEE). Socrates replies it belongs to the highest type of good, but Glaucoma points out these Justice versus Injustice: An Interpretation of Socrates Dialogues By edgewise good.

From this perspective, Glaucoma then presents three arguments in favor of this common view (IEEE-IEEE). Firstly, Glaucoma describes an account of the origin and essence of Justice. He then uses the myth of the ring of Edges to argue that people are unwillingly Just and that, given the chance, anyone would behave immorally (IEEE-IEEE). Edges is an insignificant shepherd who, after a storm and earthquake that split open the land, discovered a bronze horse in the chasm. Inside the horse was a naked giant corpse with a golden ring on a finger.

He took the ring, when he returned to the other shepherds he was surprised. Turning the bezel of the ring inside his hand, he became invisible, and the other shepherds began talking about him as if he were not there. When he turned the top of the ring outward he was visible again. In this analogy, Edges is perfectly immoral man who could not be caught and was rewarded handsomely. Lastly, he describes ideal cases of Just and unjust people to show that, if one had the option of living a perfectly Just or completely unjust life, the only logical choice is the latter.

In response to Glaucoma, Socrates proposes to discover and defend Justice by founding a city in speech, or a theoretical city, reasoning that, when we see Justice in the city we may be able to see it in the soul (Bibb-Bibb). The city, he contends, comes into being because people are needy rather than self-sufficient, and specifically because they need goods that can only be produced, or at least can best be produced by other people (Bibb-e).

Furthermore, Socrates purges Glaucoma of his unjust Eros by offering him a city instead of a soul, refusing to depict a perfectly Just life, which encountered misfortune and misery because of its virtue. Socrates offers Glaucoma what he truly desires, the very unjust life, perfectly disguised as the perfectly Just life. He suggests to Glaucoma that it would be easier to observe Justice in a city than in a soul. By watching the city grow, they would presumably be able to observe the genesis of justice and injustice. The origins of cities reside in the absence of human self- sufficiency.

This is also a timely reminder to Gluon that human life cannot be led apart from society; self-sufficiency is the delusion of a rich man with an inflated notion of his ability. The Just life according to Socrates is Justified through its political consequences. This first city, the city of speech described by Socrates is characterized by men minding their own business, and When Glaucoma challenges Socrates to show that Justice is choice worthy for its own sake, Socrates responds that first they have to determine what Justice is (ICC-AAA).

To find out, he suggests that hey should look for Justice in a city, presumably, the city of speech. Socrates follows Glaucoma’s example by looking for Justice in the coming into being of a city, a new city that unlike all other has been established entirely according to nature (Bloom, 1991). The city in speech has been constructed originally as a device through which we might come to see Justice in the soul better. Glaucoma’s agreeing with the importance of this question eventually turns the discussion toward the possibility of the best city’s coming into being in actuality.

Glaucoma desired to hear pure Justice praised exclusively for itself, and wishes Socrates to praise the perfectly Just man who is nonetheless thought to be perfectly unjust (check-do). He does however, claim repeatedly that Justice is regarded as only an instrumental good, which all who practice do so with reluctance, as something necessary and not as a good (ICC, labor according to which people work only at the Jobs for which they are best suited by nature, or for which they have the greatest aptitude (ICC-IEEE).

While the city requires a great variety of arts, the conversation suggests that ultimately these arts, ND the corresponding human beings, can be arranged into three classes, each with its own specific virtue. Most obviously, the city will require a class of artisans or craftspeople to provide the goods necessary to the wellbeing of the body. These members of the city need the virtue of moderation, which enables them to govern their passions and submit to the commands of the city’s rulers (Bloom, 1991).

If the city is to possess more than is necessary for mere subsistence living, however, it will need additional land, which may already be occupied, and which it therefore may need to take from its current occupants by force. Therefore, the city will require a class of soldiers or guardians. These citizens must have courage and therefore must possess spiritedness, that quality that includes the capacities such as anger, love of distinction, and concern for one’s own – that allow one to overcome fear of pain and death.

Consideration that is more careful reveals, however, that the soldiers, although their function is necessary to the city’s good, do not necessarily know what that good is. Therefore, a final class is required, a class of rules who possess the wisdom about what is good for the city as a whole. These are the true guardians of he city whereas the soldier class is known as their auxiliaries. This Justice in the city corresponds to Justice in the soul, which is the ultimate object of Socrates and his companion’s quest.

The three classes in the city correspond to the three elements of the human soul. That is, each soul possess reason, capable of calculation, spiritedness, capable of anger, self-assertion, and moral indignation. Justice in the soul is the proper ordering that exists when the rational element rules over the desires with the assistance of the spirited element. Conversely, injustice in the soul is he faction that exists when the inferior elements in the soul seek to rule the whole – that is, when they do not mind their own business and obey reason, but seek to meddle its rule.

Socrates demonstrates how this division within Glaucoma’s soul will cause his city to degenerate with dramatic swiftness. Glaucoma has already acknowledged that Socrates, through his discussion of philosophy, had indicated the existence of a still finer city and soul than those described to him (Bloom, 1991). It now remains for Socrates to drive home his advantage and to help Glaucoma recognize every propensity toward injustice of his soul. Moreover, Socrates is free to criticize conventional notions of Eros in book two to four, trying to satisfy the austerity of Attendants.

However, he has not been willing to give a full account of the erotic structure of the Just city, and so to cater to the nature of Glaucoma, no doubt because one cannot consider Eros thoroughly without rising up to philosophy, a step that, for all his intelligence, Glaucoma cannot take. Socrates is compelled to go into these matters by two people who are radically less erotic than Glaucoma, and who are puzzled by the shocking advocacy of women and children in common. It is notable that Attendants takes time to feel the shock, but Glaucoma never feels it (ICC-IEEE).

His construction of the Just city is not simply voluntary. He is compelled to defend justice by his piety, but once he begins this defense, he has to accommodate it to the several and different elements in his audience. Indeed, the analogies to the other what he understands Justice to be clearly suggest that, in this context, he understands it as involving practices rather than a condition of the soul. Craft- language in general connotes the practices of the craftsman much more than his interior condition.

It is important to observe that Socrates does not claim to know what Justice is, other than to know that Justice is the soul’s proper order, that by which men become law-abiding and orderly. He does not refer to Justice as a craft here at all. What he does claim to know is the craft and its practices by which Just souls are brought into existence and maintained in their Just conditions. This is the craft of true speech, and its practices are those of the maker, not the possessor, of just souls.

While questioning Treacherous, Socrates brings to light the following faculties with his understanding of Justice and injustice. First, it has been set down in the argument that ruling is a kind of art – a provision that Treacherous does not dispute, yet Socrates points out that it seems characteristic of all the arts that they seek the good of those they rule, rather than the good of the artist and ruler. Medicine, for example, seeks the health of the patient, not that of the physician. Although doctors may ask to be paid, this benefit is not intrinsic to their art.

Indeed, their desire for payment shows that the art itself benefits someone else. In response o Treacherous’ contention that injustice is more profitable than Justice, Socrates observes that injustice leads to faction or conflict among human beings, so that they cannot then cooperate with a view to a common enterprise. Similarly, he argues, injustice causes such conflict even within a single human being that he or she will be unable to accomplish what is desired. Socrates’ argument depends on the notion that ruling is a kind of art, a notion to which Treacherous agrees but that is not obviously true.

Socrates himself admits that it is hardly possible to sufficiently defend justice when one has not yet said what it is (Bloom, 1991). Although Socrates does not actually provide a better answer to the question what is Justice, he does show us what the source or origin of injustice is – and how it is overcome in or by philosophers. There will be no Just city until a philosopher becomes king, not because philosophers know what is good – in general, much less for each citizen, but because they do not desire the wealth and esteem that lead other men.

One must notice, however that Socrates dissatisfaction does not extend to his arguments against Treacherous on what Justice is, or to the abstract theory itself of function and virtue, or the ideal embedded in the theory of a well-functioning living thing. Another way to relate a Just person and a Just society is to apply the concept of justice first to a person, define it for this case, and then conceive of a Just society as a society composed of Just persons defined.

Such a conception of a Just society would be like a conception of a divine city as a city composed of angels. Unlike Glaucoma who supposed the origin of Justice to be found in individuals’ desires, the scarcity of sources for satisfying them, and the consequent conflicts among individuals, Socrates suggests that the origin of the city-state is to be found in human needs, the fact that each individual is not self-sufficient to satisfy them, and in the resulting cooperation between them.

In Glaucoma’s view, human desires, scarce resources, and the consequent conflicts among individuals set up the need for Justice over these resources as dominant in the modern times. Glaucoma begins his arguments by telling nature, he argues that everyone by nature is self-centered. Everyone looks out for his wan good. Justice originates in a world of scarce goods in which we would life to be free to take from people whatever we want or to harm them whenever necessary without reparation.

However, Socrates focuses on needs, which are not the same as desires: we may desire things we do not need, and we may have needs for things for which we have no desires. Need seems to be a more objective concept than desire, especially bodily appetite. Needs, individual insufficiency to satisfy these needs, and the consequent rational desire for cooperation – these are Socrates’ rational basis for reading city-states; and since Socrates thinks that he can discover the origin of justice by looking at the origin of the city-state, we can infer that he sees the problem of Justice differently from Glaucoma.

For Glaucoma, the first question of Justice is how best to resolve the conflicts that arise from desires and scarcity of resources desired. He answers that, by limiting equally his freedom to harm others in the pursuit of resources in exchange for equal security from being harmed by others. But for Socrates the first question of Justice may be, what is the best way to cooperate in order to satisfy human needs best, given that these needs are and the insufficiency of individuals to satisfy them individually.

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