Plato`sdefinition of justice
Plato defined justice as harmony and doing one`s job withoutinterfering with others. Plato gives two situations to explain thedefinition of justice, the division of soul parts and state parts.Plato explains that the soul has the appetitive, spirited andrational parts. The appetitive part hunger, lusts, thirsts and fillswith excitement at certain times. It hungers for immorality, but thehealthy part balances decisions, calculates, and determines theoutcome of the acts desired. The spirited part has courage, strongwill and is vigor. The lively part naturally allies with the rationalsection of the mind. The active role is courageous to control theappetitive part (Wright, 2016). As a result, there are hierarchies inthe soul, which only agrees to perform the just action.
Thestate comprises of workers, soldiers, and rulers.
TheRepublic describes individuals as educated and works to excel inlife. The workers fit best in the society to provide clothes, food,and other necessities to the entire state. They obey their rulers.The soldiers are spirited to fight and defend the citizens fromenemies. They are courageous and loyal to citizens. The leaders arewise, love their state, and preserve it. Plato explains that justiceresides in the state and soul. The workers and appetitive aremoderate in desires. The guardians and spirited courageouslydefending the state. The ruler and the rational are wise incontrolling the employees and the appetitive (Wright, 2016). They gethelp from spirited and guardians. The above illustration definesjustice as harmony where the rational people rule, spirited guardsthe society, the appetitive are moderate, and all agree on onecondition and action that are best for the whole. The excellence ofdoing one`s work in the state is justice. As a result, a just societyhas everybody doing their job and not interfering with other people`swork.
Questionof excellence/virtue and the importance of the definition
Platoexplains that justice is excellence and virtue. Virtue is knowledge,which should be just. Plato, therefore, concludes that moralityexists through knowledge of one`s job, self-knowledge, and knowledgeof a good idea. Plato argues that social justice exists when socialclasses in the society have a harmonious relationship. The socialclass includes workers, warriors, and rulers. Plato explains thateducation is the only means of achieving social and individualjustice in the society. Personal judgment occurs when each humanbeing develops his or her ability to the maximum. According to Plato,a community exists in harmony after accessing equal opportunities ineducation from their early ages to ensure fair competition among them(Lee, 2010). Unequal opportunities in education produce an unjustsociety where the political system comprises of unqualified people,defective democracy, and oligarchy. Tyranny results in suchsocieties.
Importanceof using irony and ignorance in an argument
Socratesdefines irony as a language that is true in one sense and false inanother. Socrates uses irony to refer the opposite of what they say.Socrates tells Alcibiades ‘I love you` while meaning and notmeaning it. However, Socrates says that he loves the soul ofAlcibiades. Socrates irony uses irony to educate from its riddlemaking the interlocutor think. Socrates indicates that he is ignorantmeaning that his knowledge is infallible (Roochnik, 2000). Hisknowledge is not mathematical. According to Socrates, ignoranceleaves gaps with unanswered questions to trigger arguments.
Allegoryof the cave and its significance in education and enlightenment
Plato in the Republic uses the Allegory of the cave to likenuntutored people in forms to resemble prisoners chained in a cave andunable to turn their heads.
Theycan only see the cave`s wall. A fire burns behind them. The parapetseparates the fire and prisoners providing a space for puppeteers towalk. However, the shadows of the puppets hide leaving their shadowsfor inmates to see. The prisoners only hear the voice and echoes ofthe creatures not seen. Plato argues that our languages are shadowsand names used refer to things not seen but can only be grasped withour minds. Plato explains that human beings require achieving thereflective understanding as one with prisoners in the cave. Moreover,the ability to think and speak depends on forms (Cohen, 2006). Thus,we use languages to name objects perceived according to their forms.Individuals gain concepts through the perceptual experience ofphysical objects. However, it is a mistake to think that conceptsgrasped are equal as a perceived object.
Accordingto Sheehan (2012), Allegory of the cave is a metaphor explaining thatthe prisoners realize the reality of what they see after a long timeexposure to light from the fire. The prisoner soon realizes thatstatutes and fire cause shadows of what they see. The prisoners fromthe cave to the world observe real objects. They get the firstglimpse of the forms, which are real things. Allegory of the caveaims at educating people on how to achieve the right desires.Socrates explains that the vision of the bright and a wicked man isequally sharp with that of a philosopher. The difference is what hefocuses on his vision. The metaphor educates light naturedindividuals to turn sharply focus toward the right form. As they dothat, it is impossible to stay contemplating the way of the right.Moreover, the wise prisoners are enlightened to get back to the caveand shadows inside to assist others out of the forms.
Cohen,M. (2006). The Allegory of the Cave. Washingtoneducation.Retrieved from https://faculty.washington.edu/smcohen/320/cave.htm
Lee,M. (2010). Plato`s philosophy of education: its implication formodern education" Dissertationpaper.Retrieved from http://epublications.marquette.edu/dissertations/AAI9517932/
Roochnik,D. (2000). Socraticignorance as a complex irony: A critique of Gregory blasts.The John Hopkins University Press, 1-8.
Sheehan,T. (2012). Plato the allegory of the cave. Republic,V11 514a, 2 to 517 a, 7, 1-6.
Wright,C. (2016). Plato`s just state. Philosophy. Retrieved from https://philosophynow.org/issues/90/Platos_Just_State