The Republic 2 — страница 2

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Cephalus supposes that material possession is responsible for the correct perception of what makes a life good. But take the consolations of wealth away and see whether the right character ensures the same peaceful acceptance of old age. Cephalus argues that finding old age as a ?good thing? will depend on whether you have the disposition of those who have ?order and peace with themselves?. And he identifies this disposition with the inclination not to tell lies or deceive and the willingness to fulfill obligations to gods and men. He believes that a life which manifests these disposition is the life of a just person, of a person conscious of having lived ?free from injustice?. It is unclear whether Cephalus takes it that being conscious of having lived free from injustices is

simply that one has not cheated or told lies and having fulfilled the obligations to gods and man. Because of the living of a just life is merely to follow these guidelines then it is not implied if these virtues are attributed to a specific personality, or of an orderly and peaceful character. If his argument is not correctly linked then there is no reason to correlate living justly with the possession of a certain character; the just character. It could turn out that the benefits of just conduct are the possession of a particular sort of character. Socrates remarks that telling the truth and returning what is borrowed cannot be the definition of justice (as outlined by Cephalus), he claims that instances of the types of action Cephalus thinks of as just, can in different

circumstances be identified as cases of unjust. Socrates launches into a description of the act of giving a borrowed weapon back to a friend who while being out of his sense, asks to reclaim it. Socrates claims that everyone would acknowledge that one should not return the weapon- it would be unjust to do so. And so we conclude based on Socrates? argument that the just action is not merely a good or beneficial action: it is an action whose goodness is that which specifically belongs to justice. But this is in contrary view to Cephalus, he is convinced that people for whom there is order and peace lead the life of justice and avoid injustices. According to Cephalus, not returning the weapon to an enraged friend is an action in which one does not like to see any harm coming to

people or because he cannot tolerate any harm. But if these are motives in avoiding injustice, there may be circumstances in which that person may be forced to act unjustly. And most obvious is that even if just people do have gentle and orderly personalities as suggested by Cephalus, it is not obvious that their justice is due to that personality or rather the other the other way around. Cephalus? account of what makes his life a good and just one does not show that he avoids injustice because he understand the harm of being unjust. And so paradoxically a life lived in accordance with justice may not in fact be life lived from injustice. Cephalus? failure to provide an adequate definition of justice shows that the life according to Cephalus does not generate sufficient

understanding of justice. As Cephalus departs from the argumentative scene and hands over the argument to Polemarchus whose view is that justice is to ?render to each his due?. Polemarchus claims that justice consists of benefitting one?s friends and harming one?s enemies. Polemarchus narrows his distinction to friends and enemies. If justice depends on whether one is a friend or an enemy than it is uncertain how that distinction will be made. The judgement whether someone has acted justly will depend on whether he is classified as a friend of foe. Polemarchus? attitude to justice, unlike his father?s, does not recognize any quality inherent in justice. Polemarchus sees justice as a product of the distinction with regard our interaction of that dealings as with friends or

enemies. If returning something borrowed is harmful then its being a just act depends on whether the lender is friend or not. However, Polemarchus? view does not distinguish acting justly from acting in accordance with what is socially expected, as the treatment of an individual depends upon the nature of their relationship with those in position. Polemarchus is unable to explain that there are specific characteristics to justice which distinct it from other virtues. He is able to show that helping friends and harming enemies achieve some good, but he can?t show why such actions belong to the just man. Nor can Polemarchus say how to help the friend and harm the enemy according to the just way and he therefore cannot say how the just way of helping friends differs from the