What is justice in Book 1 of Plato's "Republic"?

Essay by jagerbombwvuUniversity, Bachelor's October 2006

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"The Republic" by Plato is centered on one point, justice. In order to define what justice is, Plato must first define what a just or ideal state is. Through the process of defining of the ideal state, one is able to see a clear definition of what it is to be morally just. If you take the Greek translation meaning "The Organization of the City" and "Of the Just" in my opinion the topic of the book is a breakdown or a story about the rules and regulations of the city-state. The subtitle, "Of the Just," hints that the organization of Athens was done by the people who were morally just.

2. Who is involved in the dialogue and where does it take place?

Socrates had gone to the harbor to see a new festival and was returning to Athens when Polemarchus persuaded him to stop to see Polemarchus' father, an old and revered business named Cephalus.

Cephalus tells Socrates how much he enjoys good conversation. Socrates agrees to start visiting more frequently, saying that older people have more knowledge about life than younger people. He enjoys speaking with them more, as they have already lived through most of life, and there is much to be learned from them. Socrates' brief exchange with Cephalus, who soon excuses himself, sets the frame for the entire conversation. Cephalus is old. He is aware that age has its burdens, but in his case these burdens are relieved by his wealth, which enables him to pay his debts, both to gods and to men, and to say what he thinks, without deception or dishonesty. Speaking the truth and paying one's debts is right, just, & honorable according to Cephalus.

3. What is the main question raised by Socrates?

The main question raised by Socrates...