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Plato, Republic, Book 1, section 332c (search)
as that justice is rendering to each what befits him, the name that he gave to this was the due.'” “What else do you suppose?” said he. “In heaven's name!” said I, “supposeSocrates often presents an argument in this polite form. Cf. 337 A-B, 341 E, Gorgias 451 B, Hippias Major 287 B ff., Thompson on Meno 72 B. someone had questioned him thus: 'Tell me, Simonides, the art that renders what that is due and befitting to what is called the art of medicine.'Socrates tests ambitious general definitions by the analogy of the arts and their more specific functions. Cf. Gorgias 451 A, Protagoras 311 B, 318 B. The idiomatic double question
Plato, Republic, Book 1, section 332d (search)
hich Plato was the first to transcend not only in the Republic infra, 335 D-336 A, but in the Crito 49 B-C. It is often expressed by Xenophon (Memorabilia ii. 3. 14, ii. 6. 35) and Isocrates (i. 26). But the polemic is not especially aimed at them. Cf. Schmidt, Ethik, ii. 313, 319, 363, Pindar, Pyth. ii. 85, Aeschylus Choeph. 123, Jebb, introduction to Sopocles Ajax, p. xxxix, Thumser, Staats-Altertumer, p. 549, n. 6, Thompson on Meno 71 E. then, is justice in his meaning?” “I think so.” “Who then is the most able when they are ill to benefit friends and harm enemies in respect to disease and health?” “The
Plato, Republic, Book 1, section 334b (search)
of Odysseus, and says ‘he was gifted beyond all men in thievery and perjury.’Hom. Od. 19.395 So justice, according to you and Homer and Simonides, seems to be a kind of stealing, with the qualification that it is for the benefit of friends and the harm of enemies. Isn't that what you meant?” “No, by Zeus,” he replied. “I no longer know what I did mean.For humorous bewildermentof Socrates' interlocutors cf. Xenophon Memorabilia iv. 2. 19, Lysis 216 C, Alc. I. 127 D, Meno 80, Euthyphro 11 B, Symposium 201 B, Theaetetus 149 A, 169 C. Yet this I still believe, that justice benefits friends and harms enemies.”
Plato, Republic, Book 1, section 336a (search)
“Do you know,” said I, “to whom I think the saying belongs—this statement that it is just to benefit friends and harm enemies?” “To whom?” he said. “I think it was the saying of Periander or Perdiccas or Xerxes or IsmeniasCf. Thompson, Meno xl. the Theban or some other rich man who had great power in his own conceit.”It is a Socratic paradox that “doing as one likes” is not power or freedom unless one likes the good. Cf. Gorgias 467 A, 577 D.“That is most true,” he replied. “Very well,” said I, “since it has been made clear that this too is not justice and the just, what else is there that we might say justice to be?”Cf.
Plato, Republic, Book 1, section 336e (search)
friend have made mistakes in the consideration of the question, rest assured that it is unwillingly that we err. For you surely must not suppose that whileFor this type of a fortiori or ex contrario argument cf. 589 E, 600 C-D, Crito 46 D, Laws 647 C, 931 C, Protagoras 325 B-C, Phaedo 68 A, Thompson on Meno 91 E. if our quest were for goldCf. Heracleitus fr. 22 Diels, and Ruskin, King's Treasuries“The physical type of wisdom, gold,”Psalms xix. 10. we would never willingly truckle to one another and make concessions in the search and so spoil our chances of finding it, yet that when we are searching for justice, a thing more precious than
Plato, Republic, Book 1, section 338d (search)
Theophrast.Char. xvii. (Jebb). Socrates, and take my statementCf. 392 C, 394 B, 424 C, Meno 78 C, Euthydemus 295 C, Gorgias 451 ADIKAI/WS U(POLAMBA/NEIS, “you take my meaning fairly.” For complaints of unfair argument cf. 340 D, Charmides 166 C, Meno 80 A, Theaetetus 167 E, Gorgias 461 B-C, 482 E. in the most detrimental sense.” “Not at all, my dear fellow” 46 A, 353 E, 354 A-B, 369 C, 370 A-B, 379 B, 380-381, 394 B, 400 C, 402 D, 412 D, 433-434, 486, 585 C, Meno 77 B, Lysis 215 B, where L. and S. miss the point. in each—the ruling party?”
Plato, Republic, Book 1, section 339a (search)
—the advantage of the established government. This I presume you will admit holds power and is strong, so that, if one reasons rightly, it works out that the just is the same thing everywhere,Thrasymachus makes it plain that he, unlike Meno (71 E), Euthyphro (5 ff.), Laches (191 E), Hippias (Hippias Major 286 ff.), and even Theaetetus (146 C-D) at first, understands the nature of a definition. the advantage of the stronger.” “Now,” said I, “I have learned your meaning, but whether it is true or not I have to try to learn. The advantageous, then, is also your reply, Thrasymachus, to the question, what is the just—though you forbade me to give t
Plato, Republic, Book 1, section 345b (search)
ng us who feels in this way and that I am not the only one. Persuade us, then, my dear fellow, convince us satisfactorily that we are ill advised in preferring justice to injustice.” “And how am I to persuade you?”Thrasymachus has stated his doctrine. Like Dr. Johnson he cannot supply brains to understand it. Cf. Gorgias 489 C, 499 B, Meno 75 D. he said. “If you are not convinced by what I just now was saying, what more can I do for you? Shall I take the argument and ramThe language is idiomatic, and the metaphor of a nurse feeding a baby, Aristophanes Eccl. 716, is rude. Cf. Shakespeare, “He crams these words into my ears against the stomach of my
Plato, Republic, Book 1, section 346a (search)
others because its power or function is different? And, my dear fellow, in order that we may reach some result, don't answer counter to your real belief.Cf. Gorgias 495 A. But elsewhere Socrates admits that the “argument” may be discussed regardless of the belief of the respondent (349 A). Cf. Thompson on Meno 83 D, Campbell on Soph. 246 D.” “Well, yes,” he said, “that is what renders it different.” And does not each art also yield us benefitAs each art has a specific function, so it renders a specific service and aims at a specific good. This idea and the examples of the physician and the pilot are commonplaces in
Plato, Republic, Book 1, section 347d (search)
or to their like. For we may venture to say that, if there should be a city of good menThis suggests an ideal state, but not more strongly than Meno 100 A, 89 B. only, immunity from office-holding would be as eagerly contended for as office is now,The paradox suggests Spencer's altruistic competition and Archibald Marshall's Upsidonia. Cf. 521 A, 586 C, Isocrates vii. 24, xii. 145; Mill, On Representative Government, p. 56: “The good despot . . . can hardly be imagined as conseting to undertake it unless as a refuge from intolerable evils;” ibid. p. 200: “Until mankind in general are of opinion with Plato that the proper person to be entrusted with power is the person most unwillin<
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