Journal of Ancient Philosophy 13 (1):40-73 (2019)

According to Glaucon’s conception of justice, the government is constituted by a contract which determines the legal and the just. From its constitution the ruler may control the subjects’ justice without being subject to the contract himself. To reinforce Thrasymachus’ speech Glaucon will offer Socrates a challenge where the latter has to prove that justice is superior to injustice. Thus, it is Socrates’ task to show this under any counterfactual circumstance, always bringing benefit to the one who acts justly. The difficulty in responding to the challenge proposed by Glaucon is shown by the case in the Republic where the fulfillment of justice seems not to bring benefits, but penalty to the agent. This is precisely the case of the Philosopher Ruler and his coercion to rule. For that one must understand the reason why the philosopher is coerced to rule, not as a matter of choice, but something whose denial is made impossible due to justice. Socrates’ solution to the challenge of justice starts from the definitions of political justice, where each citizen is compelled to do his own duty, and psychic justice, defined as a harmony between the parts of the soul. Our argument shows that the justice within the philosopher’s soul itself is justified by the necessity of fulfilling the justice in Kallipolis, as well as allowing good government.
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DOI 10.11606/issn.1981-9471.v13i1p40-73
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