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352D - 354C The argument here reverts to 347 E, and the rest of the book offers a direct refutation of the view that Injustice is more advantageous than Justice, in other words, that the life of the unjust man is better than that of the just. An indirect refutation, says Socrates, is afforded by the recent discussion (from 348 B to 352 D); the direct is as follows. Everything has its peculiar work or product (ἔργον)—that, namely, which it alone produces, or which it produces better than aught else. Everything moreover has its own peculiar excellence, without which it will not do its work well. Now the work of soul is to deliberate, to rule, to live: its excellence is Justice. Therefore the just soul will live well, and to live well is to be blest and happy. And as this is more advantageous than to be miserable, Injustice can never be more advantageous than Justice. In conclusion, Socrates sums up regretfully: until we know what Justice is, we are not likely to discover whether it is a virtue or a vice, and whether its possessor is happy or unhappy.

ff. The view that everything has its own peculiar function, which it can perform better than anything else, afterwards becomes one of the cardinal principles of the Ideal State (II 369 E ff.); and the statement that everything has an excellence or virtue of its own is reaffirmed in Book X, where we are also told that everything has its own peculiar vice, that of soul being ἀδικία (608 E ff.).

ὅντινα τρόπον χρὴ ζῆν. A reminiscence of the πῶς βιωτέον of Socrates: cf. 344 E.

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