Abstract
In order to discover the justice and argue that it is a goodness, Socrates draws an analogy between the justice of a polis and the justice of an individual in the book II of the Republic. According to him, a polis is a large version of an individual. In Book IV, Socrates proves their congruity from two perspectives --- the polis and the soul are the same “tripartite”: Both of them have the same four virtues. He thus explains why the vulgar justice is good, and makes a preliminary definition of the nature of justice as well. In his view, the justice is doing one’s own; therefore like temperance, it runs through all the notes of the scale and brings both the polis and the soul harmony and symphony. Seen in the context of the Republic as a whole, this argument of Socrates’ is obviously not convincing. Readers are reasonable in raising the following questions: First, are a polis and an individual of the same composition? Second, are virtues of the state necessarily virtues of the soul? In other words, must a good man be a good citizen? This paper is to deal with Socrates’ argument from these two aspects. In fact, a polis cannot achieve the same harmony and symphony as an individual, nor can political virtues come to the same level as philosophical ones. Hence, a good citizen is not necessarily a good man. Rather, the justice of polis is more of temperance while the justice of soul is more of wisdom. If it is true that the genuine virtue is knowledge, therefore only philosophers are the most just and happiest in the world, then more thought needs to be given to the view that the vulgar virtuesinevitably mean happiness
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy
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DOI wcp22200821195
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