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Why do men behave justly Is it because they fear societal punishment Are they trembling before notions of divine retribution Do the stronger elements of society scare the weak into submission in the name of law Or do men behave justly because it is good for them to do so Is justice regardless of its rewards and punishments a good thing in and of itself How do we define justice Plato sets out to answer these questions in the Republic He wants to define justice and to define it in such a way as to show that justice is worthwhile in and of itself He meets these two challenges with a single solution a definition of justice that appeals to human psychology rather than to perceived behavior Platos strategy in the Republic is to first explicate the primary notion of societal or political justice and then to derive an analogous concept of individual justice In Books II III and IV Plato identifies political justice as harmony in a structured political body An ideal society consists of three main classes of people--producers craftsmen farmers artisans etc auxiliaries warriors and guardians rulers a society is just when relations between these three classes are right Each group must perform its appropriate function and only that function and each must be in the right position of power in relation to the others Rulers must rule auxiliaries must uphold rulers convictions and producers must limit themselves to exercising whatever skills nature granted them farming blacksmithing painting etc Justice is a principle of specialization a principle that requires that each person fulfill the societal role to which nature fitted him and not interfere in any other business At the end of Book IV Plato tries to show that individual justice mirrors political justice He claims that the soul of every individual has a three part structure analagous to the three classes of a society There is a rational part of the
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