Monthly Archives: September 2014

Plato’s Republic Book II

Book II deals with a few different subject matters which are very interesting. The first is whether or not justice in its most abstract form is something which people truly desire . Socrates is challenged to prove that justice is practiced just for its own sake, as well as for the consequences which it¬†will bring. It could be just a means to an end, “quid pro quo” and all that. Or some might want to be just in order to rack up brownie points for the afterlife. I find these arguments to be super fascinating, and honestly pretty compelling!¬†Surprisingly, I find myself drawn to Glaucon’s ideas and can totally emphasize with his viewpoints in this book.

Another relevant topic brought up is the principle of specialization, which is to say the idea that individuals should just do what they’re best at and nothing more. It’s a strange system that allows for a functioning and ‘just’ society, but I feel like it builds a potentially unjust hierarchy from the get go. Different professions have different levels, with the guardians sitting right on top. Much of the rules set in this weird world are set in order to create the perfect guardians, such as which stories about the gods were allowed to be told. The idea is that through this group effort, these guardians will be attained, therefore improving everyone’s lives overall. Here the need of the group is placed above the needs of the individual, since many sacrifices will have to be made by the lower classes in order to continue rising the city to the top.