Polemarchus Theory of Justice & Thrasymachus Conception of Justice Essay

Polemarchus Theory of Justice & Thrasymachus Conception of Justice Essay

1)At the end of Book I, Socrates laments “the whole conversation has left me completely in the dark.”Why is this? What has he done wrong in his investigation?What needs to be done to properly answer the question “Are we better off or happier being just rather than unjust?”

2)What does it mean for a theory of justice to be choice guiding?To what extent is Polemarchus’ theory of justice choice guiding?Can you think of a situation in which Polemarchus’ theory would not be choice guiding?Do you think Thrasymachus’ theory of justice is more choice guiding than Polemarchus’ theory?

3)Explain Thrasymachus’ conception of justice as “nothing but what is to the interest of the stronger party.” What is Thrasymachus’ argument for his justice? Explain one of Socrates’ two main objections to Thrasymachus’ conception of justice. How does Thrasymachus respond to that objection? Is Thrasymachus’ response successful?

4)State and explain three major assumptions about what people are like and/or life in the state of nature that allow Glaucon to arrive at his conception of justice.Explain how these three assumptions lead Glaucon to think that people in a state of nature would choose his justice.If only one or two of these assumptions were true, could Glaucon achieve the same result?

5)Explain Glaucon’s distinction between three kinds of goods.What kind of good does Glaucon think justice is?How does he try to establish this conclusion?How does Adeimantus provide further support for Glaucon’s conclusion?

6)Explain the differing methods by which Thrasymachus and Glaucon come to their conceptions of justice.Describe the similarities and differences between the two methods.Which method would you describe as “empirical,” and why?

7)Explain Socrates’ three-step procedure for discovering the virtues of a thing that has functions.How does Socrates use this procedure to discover the virtues of a city-state?

8)Socrates is highly critical of the literature used in Greek schools, especially dramatic and epic stories.Why does he think these forms of literature should be censored?How does Socrates’ discussion with Cephalus illuminate the dangers these sorts of stories pose to young children?

9)Try to understand Socrates’ theory of social justice by using the statue of justice (Links to an external site.).For each symbol–blindfold, balance, and sword, try to find features of Socrates’ justice that reasonably match the symbol.For example, what in Socrates’ theory of justice does the sword symbolize?And does Socrates ever say, suggest, or imply that justice involves weighing something against something else?

10)Why does Adeimantus object that the rulers in Socrates’ ideal state will not be very happy?What conception of happiness does Adeimantus’ objection presuppose?How does Socrates respond to this objection?

11)For each of the four virtues of Socrates’ ideal city, explain where that virtue resides in the city, what that virtue is, and what function that virtue enables the city to perform best.

12)If we use Glaucon’s method to find out what justice is, and the list of alternatives in front of human beings in a state of nature includes not only (1) the state of nature, and (2) Glaucon’s justice, but also (3) Cephalus’ justice, (4) Polemarchus’ justice, (5) Thrasymachus’ justice, and (6) Socrates’ theory of social justice, what would the people choose, and why?