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Thrasymachus is pacified, but the intrepid Glaucon insists on continuing the argument.
He is not satisfied with the indirect manner in which, at the end of the last book, Socrates had disposed of the question ‘Whether the just or the unjust is the happier.’
He begins by dividing goods into three classes:—first, goods desirable in themselves; secondly, goods desirable in themselves and for their results; thirdly, goods desirable for their results only.
He then asks Socrates in which of the three classes he would place justice.
In the second class, replies Socrates, among goods desirable for themselves and also for their results.
‘Then the world, in general, are of another mind, for they say that justice belongs to the troublesome class of goods which are desirable for their results only.
Socrates answers that this is the doctrine of Thrasymachus which he rejects.
Glaucon thinks that Thrasymachus was too ready to listen to the voice of the charmer, and proposes to consider the nature of justice and injustice in themselves and apart from the results and rewards of them which the world is always dinning in his ears.
He will, first of all, speak of the nature and origin of justice; secondly, of the manner in which men view justice as a necessity and not a good; and thirdly, he will prove the reasonableness of this view.
‘To do injustice is said to be good; to suffer injustice an evil. As the evil is discovered by experience to be greater than the good, the sufferers, who cannot also be doers, make a compact that they will have neither, and this compact or mean is called justice but is really the impossibility of doing injustice.
No one would observe such a compact if he were not obliged.
Let us suppose that the just and unjust have two rings, like that of Gyges in the well-known story, which makes them invisible, and then no difference will appear in them, for everyone will do evil if he can.
For it is when his knowledge abandons him that he who goes wrong goes wrong—when he is not a craftsman. So that no craftsman, wise man, or ruler makes a mistake then when he is a ruler, though everybody would use the expression that the physician made a mistake and the ruler erred. It is in this loose way of speaking, then, that you must take the answer I gave you a little while ago. But the most precise statement is that other, that the ruler in so far forth as ruler does not err, and not ©
ing he enacts what is best for himself, and this © the subject must do, so that, even as I meant from ~ the start, I say the just is to do what is for the advantage of the stronger.”
XV. “So then, Thrasymachus,” said I, “my manner of argument seems to you pettifogging?”” “It does,” he said.
“ You think, do you, that it was with malice aforethought and trying to get the better of you unfairly that I asked that question?” “I don’t think it, I know it,” he said, “and you won’t make anything by it, for you won’t get the better of me by stealth and, failing stealth, you are not of the force? to beat me in debate.”
“Bless your soul,” said I, “I wouldn’t even attempt such a thing. But that nothing of the sort may spring up between us again, define in which sense you take the ruler and stronger.
Do you mean the so-called ruler” or that ruler in the precise sense of whom you were just now telling us, and for whose advantage as being the superior it will be just for the inferior to act?”
“I mean the ruler in the very most precise sense of the word,” he said. “Now bring on against this your cavils and your shyster’s tricks if you are able.
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