The Justice of the Ordinary Citizen in Plato’s Republic


On the surface, it is not clear whether the ordinary citizen in Plato’s Republic possesses the virtue of justice defended in the dialogue. In order to resolve a tension in Plato’s treatment of the ordinary citizen, this paper presents a distinction between the civic justice of the ordinary citizen and the platonic justice of the philosopher. Whereas the justice possessed by the philosopher requires knowledge of the good as well as a reason-governed soul, civic justice requires only true beliefs about justice and a habit or practice of just action.

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Andrea Veltman
James Madison University

References found in this work

The Psychology of Justice in Plato.John M. Cooper - 1977 - American Philosophical Quarterly 14 (2):151 - 157.
The Psychology of Justice.John M. Cooper - forthcoming - American Philosophical Quarterly.

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