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Table of Contents
JUSTICE WRIT LARGE
In Book I Socrates won one argument after another. Yet so far he has not seemed to provide any useful insights on how to live life well.
Glaucon and Adeimantus, ambitious young men with every prospect for successful political careers, are dissatisfied with his arguments. They agree with the spirit of his views- certainly justice must be more desirable than injustice. But they want to be entirely persuaded and they want some practical guidance. After all, Thrasymachus' teachings are attractive and seem more realistic than Socrates'. Why, in their pursuit for political glory, should they be hampered by considerations of fairness to others?
Such vital questions as how to live well and why people should conduct themselves with a watchful eye to the well-being of others are not simple to answer. Socrates perceives that a comprehensive account of the just life is needed. He pursues this task in the remaining books of The Republic, but not without some prodding from the young men.
Book II begins Socrates' description of the nature of justice and its place in the Good Life. This book can be divided into three sections: 1. Glaucon and Adeimantus' statement of the problem; 2. the origins and needs of the state; and 3. the excellence and education of the guardians.