Thursday, November 14, 2019
Justice in Platos Republic and Hobbes Leviathan Essay -- Politics Phi
One of the main concepts in both Plato's Republic and Hobbes' Leviathan is justice. For Plato, the goal of his Republic is to discover what justice is and to demonstrate that it is better than injustice. Plato does this by explaining justice in two different ways: through a city or polis and through an individual human beings soul. He uses justice in a city to reveal justice in an individual. For Hobbes, the term justice is used to explain the relationship between morality and self-interest. Hobbes explains justice in relation to obligations and self-preservation. This essay will analyze justice specifically in relation to the statement ? The fool hath said in his heart, there is no such thing as justice? Looking at Hobbes? reply to the fool will demonstrate that his main goal was to declare what people ought to do when interacting with others and what can be expected in return for that behaviour. By analyzing the Republic, it will be shown that Plato would most likely differ w ith the statement made by the fool because the main of premise the book in itself is to discover the definition of justice. To understand Hobbes? reply to the fool, one must first define justice according to Hobbes. He believes that justice is men performing their covenants made and the constant will of giving every man his own. A covenant is a part of a contract, or ?mutual transferring of right, in which at least one of the parties ?is to perform in time to come?. Hobbes maintains that it is never against reason to complete a covenant when man has the security that others will also perform covenants made with him. However, the problem that arises from forming covenants is that just because people enter into a covenant to perform some actio... ...ing so he also showed that there is such a thing a justice within a city as well as in an individual. Thus, Plato?s reply to the fool would be that indeed there is such a thing as justice. And justice is good because it benefits in this life as well as the next. Therefore, even though a man may wish to behave unjustly when he can, as with the myth of the ring of Gyges, behaving justly will have the most rewards. Both Plato and Hobbes present different views of justice in reply to the fool. Plato, claiming one should be just because it is good in itself, where as Hobbes claims being just is good for the pursuit of self-interest or preservation. Despite the difference of opinion on justice between the two philosophers, it is clear that the fool?s statement has been refuted. For there is such a thing as justice despite the differences in how the term is defined.