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The Republic II By Plato In Book II of the Republic Socrates and others begin an inquiry into the real nature of justice and injustice and their respective advantages Although Socrates makes the statement Now as we are not remarkably clever his suggestion on how to proceed with this inquiry yields a very clever analogy Socrates compares looking for the true nature of justice with a shortsighted person trying to read small inscription from a distance I find this remarkably clever because he allows you to visualize how difficult a task this would be Socrates then goes on to say that it would be a godsend if someone were to point out that a large-scale version of this inscription existed elsewhere By making this analogy Socrates is drawing a visual distinction in the minds of others between justice as it relates to the individual the small inscription and justice as it relates to the state the large inscription The analogy shows to others that justice exists on a larger scale in the sta te and if they look first at larger inscription then they may be able to find justice there on a larger proportion With Socrates suggestion the men set out first to inquire into what justice mean as it relates to the state To accomplish this goal Socrates proposes that they imagine a state as it is coming to be This is also a very clever proposal because Socrates is aware that if they try to find justice in a fully functional state take Athens for example with all of its intricate workings their minds would be clouded by what already exists instead of how it came to be Socrates knew that creating an imaginary state would provide more insight in how justice came into play in the first place and after all that is the knowledge they seek Finding out how justice comes into play in the state will show
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