October 24, 2013 Plato’s Happiness
To be just or unjust. To be happy or unhappy? Men fall into these two categories. Why does a man act according to these 2 extremes? Is it because they fear punishment? Are they quivering in fear of divine retribution? Or do men do just things because it is good for them to do so? Is justice, good of its rewards and consequences? Or is it good for itself. What is justice? Are the people who are just, just as happy as the people who are unjust? Plato sheds light on these questions and says yes, I have the definition of justice and yes, just people are happy if not happier than unjust people. Plato show’s that justice is worthwhile in and of itself and that being a just person equates to being a happy person. In my opinion, Plato does a good job and is accurate when explaining what it is to be just and this definition is an adequate solution to repairing an unjust person or an unjust city or anything that has an unjust virtue and using the definition of what justice is accurately explains why just people are happier than unjust people.
According to Plato justice is harmony (book 4, 434c) and justice is each part doing its own work and not interfering with one another. These two definitions of justice don’t do a good job of explaining what justice is in ful. Plato compares justice in a soul and justice in a city, the city of Kalipolis. Plato critiques what justice is, the parts in the soul and the parts in the city of Kalipolis. The soul is split into three parts by Plato, the appetitive, spirited element and the rational. The appetitive is the part are, in lames terms, our desires, our hunger, our thirst in some sorts. The rational part of our soul controls the appetites. The rational part is the part in the soul makes decisions that are good for the soul and should always have that interest in mind. The third part is the spirited element. This part of the soul gives us drives, it gives us courage, it wakes us up in the morning, gets us through the day. This part of the soul is also controlled by rationality. The spirited naturally, if “it hasn’t been corrupted by a bad upbringing” (4, 441a), partners with the rational part.
Now to understand the parts of the city Kalipolis. The parts of Kalipolis are three types of people, the producers, the auxiliaries and the rulers. They are evaluated to their natural qualities at birth and taken away from their parents. Though I don’t agree with this entirely, it is an effective tactic. The producers are people who specialized in a certain craft. They obtain this craft by nature. The producers are also knows as the money-seekers. The producers produce most things needed in the city of Kalipolis. This entails clothing, food, and electronics, whatever the city needs to do. In modern society they would be considered labor workers. The producers must obey the rulers in the city of Kalipolis, which is also known as the good or beautiful city. (See what Plato did there? This is in likeness to the soul whereas the appetites must obey rationality.
The auxiliaries are the people that are supposed to fight to protect the city of kalipolis. They are supposed to hold a good sense of justice attained by the ruler. They have to have the attribute of bravery and have to be very strong willed as well as strong physically. The rulers are people who are the messiah of goodness. They must be a lover of wisdom. They must always have the good of the city at heart with every decision they make. These parts of the city have been separated justly because they are naturally suited. Each part doesn’t have the essential attribute needed to network through these occupations. Both the Kalipolis and a just soul have the same components. Plato claims that justice is the same in the soul and in the state. Both the auxiliaries and the appetitive have the attribute desires. Both the auxiliaries