PLATO AND PHILOSOPHY
What is justice? This meta-ethical question, asking about a moral concept, is the centerpiece of Plato’s most famous dialogue, The Republic. Unlike many of Plato’s short dialogues, this is a long book. We cannot even begin to attack it properly. However, we can carve out a nice piece that will help us to not only understand more about justice, but also about the nature of the Socratic style of argument.
Socrates had a particular type of question and answer method for getting at Truth, which came to be known, not surprisingly, as the Socratic method. Teachers today, particularly in the United States, pride themselves on using the Socratic method. However, simply asking questions is not enough. Many think that if they don’t lecture, if they don’t just tell students what is what, and they ask questions, they are using the Socratic method. Not so. There is much more to it than that. Getting a better understanding of the Socratic method, the method that all philosophers use, and the one thing that binds all philosophers together, will be our task in this Case.
In The Republic, we will be looking at the passage where Thrasymachus argues that Justice is whatever is in the interest of the stronger, in section 336b.
- At what point do you think Socrates really starts to take control of the argument?
Don’t give me a play-by-play statement, but rather try to find the point where the tide turns in Socrates’s favor. This is a judgment call. There is no right answer. I am not going to say, “No, the argument turned two sentences earlier.” However, I do want you to give me solid reasons why you think the argument works the way it works.
Write a 3-page paper, answering this question, and upload your work by the end of the module.