By J. S. McClelland
This can be a nice e-book to realize a greater knowing of a number of the innovations of western politcal thought...its sparknotes for any poli sci significant, yet on an highbrow level...its a superb e-book.
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Additional info for A History of Western Political Thought
Cephalus confesses that he is stumped by that objection. He could have said that justice is helping friends and paying debts, but not in that case. Plato does not allow him to say that for the obvious reason that a list of exceptions to the rules of justice would make for a very long list indeed. Not only would the list have to contain all the rules which a just man would follow, but it would also have to contain a complete list of the exceptions. This list of the exceptions would almost certainly have to be much longer than the list of rules because the exceptions would always depend on circumstances, and there is in principle no limit to the number of possible circumstances that could arise in which the rules of justice could come into conflict.
If the answer is that all men are capable of being just, then the additional question has to be asked: If that is so, why is it the case that so few are just in fact? If justice is so generally accessible, why is it so rare? Wisdom, courage and temperance, if not exactly common, are spread fairly wide, so why is the same not true of justice? ) Partly, no doubt, the rarity of justice is to be explained by the fact that it is usually inexpedient to be just, but it might also be that being just is in itself harder than practising any of the other virtues (and it will be even harder after Plato has made justice include all the other virtues as well).
He is not trying to stop family life, or to prevent people from loving honour; rather he devises arrangements which will make them a source of unity, not of division. The final problem which Thrasymachus leaves unresolved is the problem of divided states. The state as it exists in the world is not one state but two. All cities are divided. Plato could either try to construct a state in which the causes of those divisions were eradicated or try to construct a state in which the causes remain but the effects are not divisive.
A History of Western Political Thought by J. S. McClelland