Through out Book One of Plato? s Republic. Thrasymachus’ theory revolutionized the entire perception of justice and injustice. He puts forth that justice is an unnatural way of living while injustice is natural and is categorized in self-interest. Through his beliefs he speaks of injustice being the best. He also portrays that perfect injustice parallels with the most excellent human being. Thrasymachus significantly differentiated between the two viewpoints of what justice and injustice is. After the argumentation with Socrates and the rest of the men, he was finally able to express his own opinion.
Thrasymachus believed that justice was in simple terms “the advantage of the stronger”#. To prove this point Thrasymachus used the ruling party of a city as an example. He believes that leaders have the advantage because they generate laws that benefit themselves. Thrasymachus proceeds by saying that “they declare what they have made-what is to their own advantage- to be just for their subjects, and they punish anyone who goes against this as lawless and unjust. #” This statement declares that the one who has established rule are unjust because one automatically has the advantage or power.
The rest of society is then left ineffectual because obeying and serving the ruling party, or “the stronger” is their only option. Thrasymachus continues to provide evidence by discussing how rulers, while powerful, remain just by trying to help other people. For example a doctor will never make an error while taking part in his examinations or medical work. Even when his knowledge fails him, a physician will avoid failure because this would contradict his title as doctor. A doctor refers to his medicine as a just development because the art of medicine is to do what is advantageous for the body.
Thrasymachus says that “A ruler, insofar as he is a ruler, never makes errors and unerringly decrees what is best for himself and this his subject must do, Thus, as I said from the first, it is just to do what is to the advantage of the stronger. “# There are no high positions than a physician or ruler in which they have fewer things told to do from high authority; they will perform with such attitude that their work has no errors and their work is superior with no faults. As the conversation progresses, Thrasymachus uses his definition of justice to describe what a just person is.
He firmly believes that it is unnatural for a person to be completely just. Thrasymachus agrees to Socrates statement that ” a just person doesn’t outdo someone like himself. “# For example if a wealthy man and a poor man both spot gold on the street, the wealthy man will take into consideration both of their situations. If he is a just wealthy man he will then let the poor man to proceed with his findings. Thrasymachus is then questioned ” will an unjust person also outdo an unjust person or someone who does an unjust action, and will he strive to get the most he can for himself from everyone?
“# He responds, “He will. ” Even though this is Socrates’ argument, Thrasymachus agrees to it making it a similar thought in both philosophers’ minds. This strikes up Thrasymachus’s next argument about injustice being natural. He believes that injustice is something that is naturally and morally right. Injustice is for someone’s self righteousness. “An unjust person is clever and good, while a just one is neither. “# Injustice is the key to happiness because the pursuit of happiness is a natural instinct.
A life which is lived to be most honorable and parallel to the most important moral factors of life equals out to be the means of a happy life. If happiness is achieved one has done something natural. When one has done something natural they have ultimately done something right. The satisfaction that comes with the happiness and natural desire is than equivalent to injustice. It is evident that injustice is obviously more beneficial than the just way of life. This is proved by an example given by Thrasymachus about two men from both perspectives.
“In matters relating to the city, when taxes are to be paid, a just man pays more on the same property, an unjust one less, but when the city is giving out refunds, a just man gets nothing, while an unjust one makes a large profit. “# To conclude, Thrasymachus explains both sides of the spectrum and how they benefit each person differently. He speaks of the unnatural nature of somebody being just. Secondly, he puts forth his argument about established rule contributing to being unjust. Lastly, he speaks of injustice being a natural way of life and having a natural thread throughout ones life.