Socrates' purpose in the Republic is to determine the nature of justice, or "right behavior." Socrates examines the nature of justice in both the individual and in the city. Socrates associates justice with structures in the human soul and social structures in the city. Justice in the individual is a state in which the rational soul controls both the spirit (the emotions) and the appetitive soul (the part associated with desires and appetites). Such a person is just, and will behave justly. Socrates states that if each citizen specifically practices his occupation, and allows others to practice theirs without interference, the city will be a just city. Each individual, by engaging in his specialized occupation, is behaving justly. Just as the rational part of the soul governs the others in a just person, the rational part of the city, that is the philosopher-king and the guardians, should govern the producers and the warriors.
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The ThemeTracker below shows where, and to what degree, the theme of Justice appears in each section of The Republic. Click or tap on any chapter to read its Summary & Analysis.
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Below you will find the important quotes in The Republic related to the theme of Justice.
Book 2 Quotes
God is not the author of all things, but of good only.
Book 4 Quotes