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Ancient philosophy essay sample on justice

Ancient philosophy/Socrates/justice

Justice is one of the most complex ethical categories which covers a wide scope of human relations. The content of this concept reflects the economic, political and legal conditions of social life and their development trends. The concept of justice, along with such ethical concepts as truth, goodness, are part of the attitude of a person for a long time. /Ancient philosophy essay sample / These concepts-values for a long time deeply penetrated into all forms of social consciousness, acting as regulators of the major goals and values and meanings of ideas and concepts. / Socrates essay samples /

The problem of justice interested philosophers and scientists for many ages. At each stage in history this category has its own understanding, which is due to the living conditions of people and their ideas about the world, as well as the existing structure of society and the place of man in this society. / Socrates essay samples / Search of theoretical foundations of social justice is the traditional theme of social philosophy and ethics. The question of the social system, organized on a fair basis, is one of the central problems for the classical (antique) thoughts. /Ancient philosophy essay sample /

Particular attention was paid to consideration of justice by Socrates, who called it as the subject “more precious than all the gold” and tried to prove the existence of single and common notion of justice, linking it with morality and knowledge. Injustice is unnatural, because it is the fruit of ignorance and delusion. Claiming connection between virtue and wisdom, praising the beauty of the mind, meaning, consciousness, he created a logical basis for the understanding of justice. Socrates argued: “Justice and any other virtue is wisdom. Righteous deeds and in general all the actions based on virtue are beautiful and good” (Kenny, 26).

The system of Socrates’ views had a strong influence on the formation of the ideas of his follower - Plato. In his arguments, Plato considers justice as the most beautiful, the greatest good, which should be enjoyed. Its further development in Plato the political and legal aspect of justice received. / Socrates essay samples / Extracting the concept of justice from the principle of the arrangement of space, according to which every person and every thing has its place and function assigned by impersonal universal law, Plato drew an analogy between the interconnections in nature and in human society. / Plato essay samples / He argued that the maintenance of a given order and harmony, both in the relationship with nature and in the human community, is true wisdom (Kamtekar, 2001). /Ancient philosophy essay sample /

Mogobe Ramose considers Socrates’ view on justice based on well-known history of the life and death of Socrates. “For him, commitment to truth and justice was a matter of life and death. He would therefore be prepared to stand by the same truth – for as long as the circumstances pertaining to it remained unchanged – even if he were to die a hundred deaths” –Ramose writes (Ramose, 67).  

Plato essay samples 

Describing pre-Socratic period, the author writes that it was characterized by the fact that money undermine and displace respected ethical values, it was “the period of money-based rule” (Ramose, 67). / Socrates essay samples / The pre-Socratic philosophers certainly observed nature. From their observations they drew conclusions based upon deductive reasoning. Unlike the pre-Socratic philosophers, the Socratic philosophers did not rely on the logical validity of deductive reasoning as the method of philosophy. Scepticism about the certainty of cultural and ethical norms was the necessary complement to the “empirico-inductive” method (Ramose, 2014). / Plato essay samples / Socrates refused attempt to devote himself to the study of the nature and causes of natural phenomena, and switched to the man himself, putting it at the center of his philosophy. /Ancient philosophy essay sample / He continues Sophists line, choosing for himself the fate of the of spiritual Enlighteners of people. Socrates was concerned with questions of ethics, aesthetics. Primary for him is the spirit, the mind of man, and the secondary - nature. / Socrates essay samples / Therefore, he believed that everything in the world happens for the benefit of man.

Socrates essay samples

In his political views, Socrates was not a supporter of democracy and considered it immoral. The best he considered an aristocratic form of government based on laws. The state is strong, in thought the philosopher, as citizens obey the law. / Socrates essay samples / Therefore, Socrates called for the law-abiding and himself tried to follow just laws. However, when he considered laws unjust, he admitted disobedience. / Socrates essay samples / Socrates to a certain extent gave the classification of forms of government and was opposed to the tyranny as the authorities of arbitrary, plutocracy – as the rule of the rich and democracy - as the will of all. This power classification was reproduced later in the teachings of Plato and Aristotle. / Socrates essay samples / The Socratic speeches contained the beginnings of contract theory to explain the relationship between the citizen and the state. Socrates believed that for everybody Fatherland and laws should be higher and more valuable than the father and mother. / Plato essay samples / At one time it was certainly a kind of philosophical revolution. /Ancient philosophy essay sample / His constant striving to analyze the traditional human concepts, to ensure their clarity, try to keep all the best and crush the worst in them naturally caused in many of his contemporaries confusion or fear, and some even experienced the horror and fright in front of this kind unprecedented criticism in Greece. / Essay sample on justice / Socrates was accused of atheism, corrupting the youth, undermining the existing political system and even the introduction of some new deities.

Citizen voluntarily becomes a citizen of the state. If he does not like the laws of this polis, he should leave. But when he became a citizen deliberately, he must comply with the laws of the state, no matter how it was difficult for him – to experience beatings, accept death in war. / Socrates essay samples / This is justice. Maybe namely this explains the position of Socrates at the trial and after the trial. Being a patriot, Socrates urged rulers to learn to manage, curb their nature, be guided in their activities by good for the state. / Essay sample on justice / 

The ancient Greeks believed that human destiny in this life is sublime, that man does not live for the sake of pleasure, but in order to achieve a perfect state of virtue. But to be virtuous and to be reasonable, as Socrates thought, is the same thing. / Socrates essay samples / The good life is impossible without sound knowledge of what is good, which means that the human mind is the supreme principle, which should be obeyed to. /Ancient philosophy essay sample / That is exactly what Plato says. Harmony, balance of all three principles of the human soul, in which undoubtedly the mind dominates, Plato calls justice. And the man who brought these three elements in proper balance will be called fair.

Ancient philosophy essay sample

Thus, the justice of the human soul - this is the correct order of domination, injustice - is a violation of this order. / Essay sample on justice / Such an understanding of the ethical validity is projected by Plato also on the state apparatus. Like the ethical justice (justice of the individual), political justice, according to Plato, is to establish a proper relationship of domination (Kamtekar, 2001). The justification of this same order of things is the idea that people vary in their nature and from birth have different natural inclinations. /Ancient philosophy essay sample / In some from birth a reasonable beginning dominates, while others are more inclined to the sensual pleasures.

Project of Socrates and then Plato, despite its theoretical harmony, however, is utopian, as it seeks to guarantee the safe and the most favorable position of the aristocracy. Moreover, to ensure by a certain way - by the appeal to the need of ruling of philosophers kings.

Plato, seeing evil in the individuality and freedom of the subjective, could not come to the true idea of the state in which the universality and individuality mediate each other, exist in each other, and the objective (the substantial) morality is identical with freedom for themselves things of consciousness. 

Essay sample on justice

Ramose rightly argues that the apparently Socrates assigned a crucial role not so much to a form of government (except the tyranny which he condemned), but to strict observance of laws and skilful leadership of the state. / Socrates essay samples / It is not surprising, because after the death of Pericles in Athens period of the rule of the demagogues in the odious sense of the word came. /Ancient philosophy essay sample / According to Thucydides, Pericles' successors were more equal to each other, while at the same time each of them, trying to become the first, pleased the people and provided it with the state management (Kenny, 2004). If before, with a few exceptions, one who had no experience of being a statesman or not a former strategist could not lead the people, but now, in the time of Pericles' successors, such events have become common. / Essay sample on justice / In this regard, persistence of Socrates, who spoke about the need of skilled leadership of the state, is clear. / Socrates essay samples / It was almost his main requirement to the state and of government. Socrates criticized the practice of selecting officials by lot. This criticism from ancient times to the present day was put forward and is put forward as the main argument in favor of the thesis about the “anti-democratism” of Socrates. Socrates, who threatened the death penalty had to uphold the rule of law and justice as in tyranny, and at the very democracy was opposed to one or the other form of government. Extreme Democracy, in the words of Socrates, while advocating unlimited freedom, prepares the “need of tyranny” (Kenny, 2004). / Socrates essay samples /

Socrates had an enormous influence on the development of Greek philosophy. All subsequent philosophers were either his students or disciples of his disciples. Both Plato and Aristotle were Socrates followers. /Ancient philosophy essay sample / Thus, the personality of Socrates highlighted the further development of Greek philosophy. Heritage history of philosophy is not only the philosophical teachings of Socrates, but also his way of life, which was an example of selfless service to the search for truth.

Works Cited

Kamtekar, Rachana. Social Justice and Happiness In The Republic: Plato’s Two Principles. History of Political Thought, 2001, Vol.22, No2, pp. 189-219. Print.

Kenny, Anthony. Ancient Philosophy: A New History of Western Philosophy. Oxford University Press, 2004. Print.

Ramose, Mogobe. Dying a hundred deaths: Socrates on truth and justice. Phronimon, 2014, Vol.15(1), pp. 67-80. Print.