Plato on Justice and Power: Reading Book 1 of Plato's Republic

Plato on Justice and Power: Reading Book 1 of Plato's Republic

by Kimon Lycos


Book 1 of Plato's Republic is often treated as a merely negative prelude to the theory of justice presented in the main body of that book. This study argues that, though an introduction to later ideas, Book 1 has its own positive theme and function: to press for the acceptance of a certain perspective on justice that is opposed to conventional interpretations of it. This perspective requires that justice be seen as 'internal' to the power human beings have to render things (including themselves and their societies) good. The analysis of Plato's dramatic characterisation, as well as the discussion of Socrates' arguments, is guided by the thought that they form aspects of a complex overall strategy through which Plato hopes to overcome the resistance of his contemporaries to the 'Socratic' perspective on justice.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781349084869
Publisher: Springer Nature B.V.
Publication date: 03/07/2017
Pages: 212
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.45(d)

Table of Contents

Preface - Introduction: 'Turning the Soul Around' - DRAMATIC CHARACTERISATION - Old Recipes about Justice - Thrasymachus on Justice and Power - The Function of 'Thrasymachus' in Plato's Text - THE ARGUMENT - Defining Justice - Limits on the Just - Power, Skill and Ruling - Excellence and the Motivational Structure of the Just - Socrates Sketches the 'Power' of Justice - Conclusion: The Socratic Vision - Notes - Bibliography - Index

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