Plato’s Views on Justice and Democracy | My Paper Hub
Justice. What is the correct definition of justice...
Justice. What is the correct definition of justice? In a society
where individuals only watch out for themselves only, justice may only be taken
to imply the happiness of oneself. Plato’s perception on political philosophy
addresses the notion of justice in the society. Plato is considered as the
founder of philosophical idealism by means of his conviction regarding the
universal notion in the world (Plato & Reeve 5). During Plato’s
history of political thinking, there is no thinker who has evoked the
admiration, respect as well as criticism like Plato. Plato was the first
philosopher to create and define political thoughts in a bigger agenda of a
philosophical idea. The utmost concern by Plato was how to put the society in
order. Just as the contemporary society where we live have different
definitions as to what justice is, Plato’s society as well had a difficulty in
defining the same term.
In his writing, “The
republic” Plato combines the ideas in the areas such as ethics,
philosophy as well as politics. However, he places more emphasis on the subject
of justice as well as the advantages that the society can accrue from being
just. According to Benjamin & George, “the fundamental issue in ‘The
Republic’ was on the definition of justice or the right behavior or
morality” (102). He significantly looked into modern perceptions on the issue
of justice and after that defined the concept. Consequently, he explained on
how the concept in addition to its realization in both an individual and the
society. I would like to state my view concerning the subject as to whether
Plato was right in his belief that democracy is not a requirement for justice
to be served. I will as well give my standpoint on what as an individual
considers justice to be.
Plato does not portray any likeness on the subject of democracy,
where it is the people who hold the power. This is because he considered that
not all people who are in the society have the capacity of making significant
decisions. The Platonic principle suggests that it is only a few individuals in
a just society that are able to have the principle part of the soul that has
the desires to acquire both truth and wisdom. Justice is not a component of the
capitalistic society where democracy plays a very minimal part in the ruling.
Plato did not as well consider money as significant due to its capacity to
propagate corruption (William, Ferrari, &Tom 49).
In Plato’s opinion, for justice to be incorporated in a society,
the society ought to be re-arranged. He rejected autonomy in the society as he
thought that it was not possible as well as in fact not necessary. Plato
dismissed both the democracy as well as its politics. He considered justice to
be fundamental for the well being of human beings. “The Republic” is possibly
the most influential work that was written by Plato. In this writing, there is
use of different dialogues that take place between him and other observers. The
fundamental belief that Plato addresses is that “justice as well as happiness
stand and fall hand in hand.” The subject of needs and wants relating to human
beings is still strongly associated with the picture of necessities for the
prosperity of human beings. In “The Republic” Plato asserts that justice is not
foolish. He describes it as a sphere of soul that hinders men from desiring
more, as more desire may ultimately end up in a behavior that is unjust.
The contemporary democracies these days require liberty and
equality. However, Plato did not address one of these requirements in the
modern society. But is justice really attainable in democracy? Democracy refers
to the ruling of a society or nation by means of the masses, whereby masses
must be just so as to make sure that their ruling is just. Plato makes the
assumption that it is only the philosophers who are just (Benjamin & George
32). It is not every person in the present society is just. If justice really
existed in the society, then the court system would not be necessary. However,
the court exists so as to serve justice in an unjust society. There are many
instances where injustice has been served in the courts. It is as if justice is
meant for the wealthy people in the society, and this explains my view that
justice in the modern society is an illusion.
The concept of democracy has significantly changed since the times
of Plato. Theories that have explained by other philosophers such as pluralism,
feminism, and Marxism have had a great influence in terms of thinking, and the
modern society can therefore not be considered as being a pure democracy. It is
probable to see the democracy that was in existence during the Plato’s days,
for instance, in the ancient Greece, where all the individuals in the society
were actively involved (Benjamin & George 101). However, it is not possible
to come across this type of a society in the 21st century. Pure
democracy in the contemporary society is an illusion that is impossible to
In my view, the definition of justice does not have clarity in the
contemporary societies. This is because an issue that is moral to one
individual or a social group may not be considered as being moral by another
individual. People tend to describe morality in terms of their perception as
compared to that of the society. For instance, the death penalty is not
considered as being immoral whereas most European nations consider it as an
immoral action. The same applies to the gay and lesbian communities in
different parts of the world. There are societies, particularly the Western
societies, that refer to gayism as well as lesbianism as being morally upright,
and have even given these groups rights so as to make sure that they are
protected by the law. In contrast, other nations are very conservative and refer
gays as immoral individuals. The laws that different nations have enacted
differ on moral grounds of many issues.
In conclusion, I strongly believe that Plato was correct in his
belief that justice does not necessarily require democracy for it to be served.
If there was a requirement for pure democracy, all the theories that discuss
the allocation of power as well as those theories of state would face
rejection, which is certainly not the case. These theories are up to now being
discussed bt both theorists as well as politicians across the globe, and even
many years later, there is no clarity regarding how a democratic state ought to
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