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Justice In Plato's Ideal State Essay

  • Submitted by: turkleberry
  • on December 4, 2011
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 636 words

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Below is an essay on "Justice In Plato's Ideal State" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

In his work The Republic, Plato defines justice as "the proper and harmonious functioning of parts."   He posits that this concept of justice should apply to the state and how it is governed.   In this ideal society, the state is divided into three classes - the Ruling class, the Guardian class and the Craftsmen class - where each of these classes is a group of individuals performing a role that is best suited to their different abilities.   As with any ideal society, Plato's has many advantages such as efficiency and should results in the happiness of every citizen of the state.   However, this concept of ideal would be considered counterproductive and unjust in modern Western societies.
In a society such as Plato's, everyone involved accepts that each citizen has a proper place and certain tasks to carry out for the good of the state as a whole.   This is probably the greatest advantage of the model.   A society where everyone is dedicated to the betterment of society and accepts their place would be extremely efficient and utopian in regards to taking care of the needs of the people.   As a specific feature of the ideal state, it does not seem to have a downside.   The problem, however, lies in the clash with today's cultural values.   In Plato's ideal, it is assumed that everyone will happily accept their lot in life and proceed to work hard for a better society.   Today's thinking would take this as a major disadvantage.   We as a whole have been trained into believing in the "American dream."   We hope that we can do and become anything we want to be.   Plato's society would prevent any of those dreams.   It would be viewed as an oppressive state.   Also, preventing anyone from being able to change classes would effectively put an end to creativity.   If everyone were to stay in the same class, the temptation to keep working in the same way would be great.   There would be no outside influences to exert a change that could be more beneficial to the society.   While not...

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