Plato's Concept of Justice

sunita2409 By sunita2409, 10th Mar 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/u5b4g0_l/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

Justice for Plato is an ethical concept, an uniting bond harmonizig and making them good in society.

Plato's Concept of Justice

Plato does not conceive of justice as a mere abiding by the laws, seeing that the intrinsic nature of the human essence. It too is not the victory of the powerful over the powerless society seeing that it defends the powerless against the powerful. An equitable state, Plato contends, is attained considering the welfare of the whole. In a fair society, the rulers, the military, the artisan, all behave in a specified way, as they ought to behave. In such a society, then rulers are prudent, the soldiers are courageous, and all the producers perform self-control or moderation. ‘Justice’ is the essential subject of Plato’s Republic: its sub-title entitled ‘Concerning Justice.’

Justice in Plato’s opinion is a moral notion. Barker says, “Justice is, for Plato, at once a part of human virtue and the bond which joins men together in the states. It makes man good and makes him social.” A more or less identical perception has been mentioned by Sabine. He states, “Justice (for Plato) is a bond which holds a society together.” Justice provides the similarity of what is spoken in the Greek language as ‘Dikaiosyne’, a term which has a wider all-inclusive implication than the word ‘justice’. ‘Dikaiosyne’ means ‘just’, ‘righteousness’. The reasoning Plato’s idea of justice is not regarded legal or judicial, nor is conjoined to the domains of ‘rights’ and ‘duties’, it does not come within the confines of law; it is, as such, related to ‘social ethics’.

The important features of Plato’s conception can be mentioned thus: (i) Justice is another name of righteousness; (ii) It is more the performance of duties than the enjoyment of rights. (iii) It is individual’s contributing to the society in accordance with his abilities, capacities, and capabilities, (iv) It is a social morality; man’s obligation, (v) It is the strength of the social fabric as it involves a web of social system.

Prior to suggesting these prospects through Socrates, Plato rejected the then concurrent theories of justice. He condemned the father –son’s (Cephalus – Polemarchus ) theory of justice of traditional morality – justice donating every man his due, to say it differently, ‘doing to others what is proper’ (Cephalus) or ‘doing good to friends and harming enemies (Polemarchus). Plato realized the utility of the traditional theory of justice, which restricts men to do what they are, alleged to do or justice a s phenomena-creating unity. However he did not approve of justice to be good to some and worse for others. Justice is, for Plato good for all – irrespective of the giver or receiver, friends or foes.

Tags

Dikaiosyne, Republic, Righteousness

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author avatar sunita2409
I am always in search of revelations and discoveries taking place in the fields of knowledge. I'm particularly interested in political theory, western political philosophy, environmental issues, peace and conflict studies, sustainable development, Ca...(more)

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Comments

author avatar Rathnashikamani
12th Mar 2011 (#)

I admire Plato, and this article has strengthened my admiration.
Sunita, well done.

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author avatar R. Person
12th Mar 2011 (#)

interesting

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author avatar Retired
20th May 2011 (#)

My problem with Plato is that he failed to recognize that only individuals can make decisions, and that consciousness manifests itself in individuals in the objective plane. Whatever is happening in the outer mind in translated into this realm through individuals.

This is why to assume that there is one Justice that can be meted out by a bureaucracy or elective process is fallacious, it simply does not follow given the nature of consciousness.

Plato is a friend of mine, he was a nice man, but he was a poet and a dreamer, not an arbiter or planner.

We will be better off when we throw this off and get a grip on taking responsibility for ourselves instead of expecting the "the whole" to do it for us.

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author avatar sunita2409
21st May 2011 (#)

thanks for your precious comment Robert Run

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author avatar Bello Kazeem Sunkanmi
9th Jun 2012 (#)

I think Plato's concept of justice is very interesting and well articulatd. It encourages social harmony. But according to Karl Popper, Plato's concept of justice does not create room for a chsnge in the society. It is such a dogmantic ideology

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author avatar Bello Kazeem Sunkanmi
9th Jun 2012 (#)

It does not suit the comtemporary setting of the society

I think it would be a welcomed idea to acknowledge Plato's concept of justice as it was a well designed way of governig a society based on social ethical rules (obligation, moral)

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