Nature of Justice in the Soul and State

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On a personal view, the definition of justice can be logical based on the fact that the three components of the soul can greatly affect the concept of justice. There is only one question in terms of the fact that reason, spirit and appetite can be considered as subjective or personal. This had been answered in the view that the soul is the microcosm of the state. Due to the fact that soul is hard to analyze, the corresponding events in the state can be studied to be able to understand the soul (Republic 436b8–9). With this analogy, it had been considered that by managing the state well, the soul can achieve happiness. For example, the part of the soul, reason is mainly interested in knowledge. In the state, reason corresponds to philosophers who have the virtue of wisdom. Honor is the main interest of the spirit and is possessed by the warriors who have the virtue of courage. Desire, which is the third component of the soul, can be equated to the commoners since the main interest is to achieve pleasures. They have the virtue of temperance (Republic 415a-433e). Looking through the different virtues, justice cannot be found. The main view of Plato is that justice can be found in all of the classes in the society, although each one may have different perception of the concept. In the dialogue, different individuals gave their opinions which all had logical points. Cephalus said that justice is about telling the truth and repaying debts, but Socrates pointed out that it can be true but not at all times or situations (Republic 331c). Polemarchus on the other had said that justice is giving to each what is owed but Socrates pointed out that this can alienate the people who had done crimes which can lead to more crimes or wrong doings (Republic 335d). Every speaker in the dialogue had a point specifically Socrates. The other speakers were concerned about the application of the definition of justice to their own field but Socrates was able to present the different sides on a general term. The bottom line in the view of justice, based on the reading then, is that justice does not consider sides, perspectives, virtues, or other elements in the social structure that people deemed important. The main reason for this is impartiality. Plato is right soul and state are the main ground where the rules of justice will be applied. In this case, it is subjective to begin with. There is never an absolute right or an absolute wrong. The view that Plato perceived justice to be in all the classes and all the components of the soul is his own version of impartiality. No matter how he deemed that the philosophers’ roles in the society are the most important in all classes, he still believed that justice can be achieved by the commoners. 2. Characteristics of a Good Citizen and the Possibility of Utopian State There are different definitions of the term citizen depending on the philosophers or the context. Based on Plato’s view in the Republic, a good citizen participates and contributes to the achievement of the goals of the state. He expressed in his work that the people who participates in governance are the citizen. For the Utopian society, he citizens are the philosophers, while the others are the people being led and ruled over. Plato’s philosophy on good citizen and even the existence of people revolve around the political concepts (Republic 415a-433e). Thoreau described good citizens as active people with goals