In the Republic, Plato attempts to answer one of philosophy’s most centralquestions: What is justice or right conduct? Thrasymachus, who is upset atSocrates’ rhetoric interrupts, suggests that justice is what is in the interestof the stronger. Thrasymachus’s view of justice is that justice is the advantageof the stronger. Thrasymachus explains this by expressing that the governmentmakes rules to its own advantage and so it is declared just for their people.Socrates argues Thrasymachus’s view by insisting that rulers command certainacts on their subjects which sometimes mistake their own best interest causingthemselves harm.
Thrasymachus agrees with Socrates that rulers often do actagainst what is in their own interest and that sometimes the stronger orders theweaker, their subject, to do what is disadvantageous to themselves. Thrasymachussays it is just to obey the orders of the rulers and just is the advantage ofthe stronger. The more important opinion of justice by Thrasymachus is thatjustice benefits other people while injustice benefits you. The stronger personuses his/her strength advantage to his/her advantage.
Socrates catchesThrasymachus contradicting himself by stating that justice requires doing whatis to the stronger advantage. Thrasymachus says that the stronger sometimesmakes mistakes and orders something not to his advantage and justice requiressubjects to obey stranger. Therefore, justice sometimes requires subjects to dowhat is not to the stronger’s advantage. This statement is a contradiction toThrasymachus’s first remark. Thrasymachus then introduces craft assumption.Socrates believes that true crafts people pursue not their own advantage, butthe subjects of their craft and that rulers are considered craftsmen. Socratesconcludes that true rulers seek not their own advantage, but their advantage oftheir subjects.
Rulers use their craft to the advantage of their subject and notfor their own advantage. Thrasymachus denies that true craftsman seek not theirown advantage but, the subjects of their craft by giving example of theshepherds and cowherds. They do not seek the good of their animal instead theirsole purpose is fattening them for their own good. The question that is producedis: What makes something the subject of a craft?” Two elements makesomething a subject. First, it needs to be the thing that is practiced on. Sheepare the shepherd’s subject because they are being practiced on. The second thingis that the subject is the beneficiary of the craft.
In this case, patients arethe subjects of the doctor because they are the ones being treated of theillness. The dictionary definition of justice is that it is an abstractprinciple by which right and wrong are defined or the principle of moral orideal rightness. This objection creates a major point of controversy thatSocrates would like to expose falsehood. One example that Socrates points to isthe honor among thieves.
The same way that division and self interest pullsapart thieves, injustice will pull apart the soul.