Philosophers Understanding of Justice
Socrates reveals that justice is a harmonious arrangement of part of the soul. This definition of justice is not then taken up to be criticized, but forms an essential part of the argument that it is important to maintain the justice of one’s soul. Socrates has little difficulty in showing that his definition for justice is circular.
However, if one take Thrasymachus’ long speech to be a recommendation of the life of injustice; it is difficult to see why he thinks it follows from his definition of justice as the advantage of the stronger. The rhetorical force of the long speech seems to be that injustice is what advantages a person and makes him stronger. In fact, he sees justice as advantaging someone other than the agent. So, Thrasymachus claims that his recommendation of injustice and his definition of justice are not at loggerheads.
Plato and other critics of Thrasymachus’s theory missed the essential point of his definition that identifies justice not with mere strength but with whatever is sought by those who are strong. However, justice is more effective than injustice because might behave unjustifully to one another with the aim of attaining social, economic, and political rights. This concept seeks to understand the peculiar dimension of our being which makes justice integral to our humanity, so much that the creature “man” would not be fully human if he did not have rights and duties, and therewith a concern for justice.
In evaluating difficulties in Socrates definition of justice, it is also clear that his argument is in favor of the intrinsic goodness. In rational self interests of unjust person, it would be impossible for such person to maintain good collaboration with the associates since justice is reciprocity in pursuit of happiness and excellence. It means that a just man is concerned with the harmony of his own soul or with his own good. The just man is ordinarily thought of as being eminently devoted to others or to the common good. Moreover, his definition could suggest that a just man calls “just” any action that conduces to the harmony of his own soul. Hence this definition has the troubling implication that, at least in principle, an action that is ordinarily considered unjust could be just and vice versa.