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Glaucon and Thrasymachus Positions on Justice
claims that while it may be more admirable than injustice, injustice is more beneficial to its practitioner. Nomos ( nomos Law, convention, custom, that which is expected. Most of all, the work to which Callicles puts the trendy nomos-phusis distinction is essentially traditional: his position is a somewhat feral variant on the ancient elitist tradition in Greek moral thought, found for instance in Theognis as well as Homers warrior ethic. Instead, he affirms that, strictly speaking, no ruler ever errs. When acting as a judge, does the virtuous man give verdicts in accordance with the law, or does he give whatever verdicts (crooked ones by Hesiods standards) will harm his enemies or help his friends? Even Socrates complains that, distracted by Thrasymachus praise of injustice, he erred in trying to argue that justice is advantageous without having first established what it is (354ac). If we take these two points together, it turns out that just persons are nothing but patsies or fools: they have internalized the moralistic propaganda of the ruling party so that they serve their interests rather than their own.
It is useful for its clearing away of conventional assumptions and hypocritical pieties: indeed Socrates later arguments largely leave intact Thrasymachus initial debunking theses about the effects of just behaviour and the manipulative function of moral language (unless you count a strikingly perfunctory appendix. The closest he comes to presenting a substitute norm is in his praise of the expertly rational real ruleran ideal which is pursued and developed more fully both by Callicles in the Gorgias and by Socrates in the Republic itself. These suggestions are scornfully rejected at first (490cd but Callicles does in the end allow that eating and drinking, and even scratching or the life of a catamite (a boy or youth who makes himself constantly available to a man for the mans sexual pleasure. Socrates: What is Justice? If we do want to retain the term immoralist for him, we need to allow that the basic immoralist challenge (that is, why be just?
Analyzing the Theme of, justice in Plato's Republic