Loxias Connections:




The Republic

“Injustice, not justice, is the key to success in life”

Plato's brother Glaucon (playing "devil's advocate") gives three reasons why people are just:


  1. The "social contract" - we are only just because we're forced to be - to avoid punishment.

  2. Gyges and the ring: we'd all be unjust if we were sure we'd get away with it.

  3. A perfectly unjust man would have to have the reputation for being perfectly just (getting away with everything). He would be rich and successful, and no one would ever suspect it was all built on injustice. A perfectly just man would be totally innocent, but unjustly accused of terrible crimes. He would be poor and wretched. Who is really happier?

    Adeimantus (Plato's other brother) adds a fourth objection:

  4. Religion tells you that you can do wrong but then avoid punishment through sacrifices and ceremonies.

"So.... Socrates. It seems that injustice is the key to successful living. Can you persuade us that justice is preferable for its own sake?" (Which is really the same problem that Plato had tried to deal with in Gorgias - is it better to do wrong or suffer wrong?)

Plato's Republic : Part 1/02


How does Socrates deal with these objections to the good life?   [Next Page?]