Das Glück der Gerechten : eine Interpretation der platonischen Politeia

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KIM, Su-Yeong, 2005. Das Glück der Gerechten : eine Interpretation der platonischen Politeia

@phdthesis{Kim2005Gluck-3492, title={Das Glück der Gerechten : eine Interpretation der platonischen Politeia}, year={2005}, author={Kim, Su-Yeong}, address={Konstanz}, school={Universität Konstanz} }

Happiness and Justice. An Interpretation of Plato's Republic Kim, Su-Yeong deposit-license Kim, Su-Yeong deu application/pdf Das Glück der Gerechten : eine Interpretation der platonischen Politeia 2005 2011-03-23T13:46:32Z 2011-03-23T13:46:32Z 1. The question about the relationship between justice and happiness is the question about the sense of the Republic at all. The Republic begins with the provocative opinion of Thrasymachos: The justice is another s good , therefore nothing else than the advatage of the stronger . This view concerning the relationship between justice and goodness is taken up at the beginning of the book II by Glaucon and Adeimantus and explained with fine conceptual means. In the general opinion the justice is a good, which is worthwhile exclusively for the sake of its consequences. In order to prove the direct relationship between justice and happiness, Plato must therefore show that the justice is worthwhile for the sake of itself.<br />In order to show this, it is necessary to answer the question about the content of the good and the happiness. What is the happiness? In Plato s Republic it is the subject of philosophical reflection from two different points of view: On the one hand from the perspective of desire and on the other hand from the perspective of pleasure. First of all one lives happily, if one s desires can be freely satisfied. The happiness is the satisfaction of the reasonable desires. Furthermore one lives happily, if one leads a trueful pleasant life. In this sense the happiness is something pleasant. Plato wants to show us that the just people, not the unjust, live happily in this double sense.<br /><br />2. In book IV Plato tries to define the justice as a harmonious satisfaction of different desires. But he can not prove that the just in this sense live happily, because this characterisation of the justice leads necessarily to the problem of the knowledge: The justice in the Platonic sense is not just a psychological condition, in which different desires are satisfied harmoniously, but rather a dynamic hexis, in which the reason as the owner of the knowledge always exercises its rule in the soul. If the contents of the knowledge are not identified exactly, Plato s characterisation of the justice as a kind of harmony and his health analogy are only provisional attempts of proving the happiness of the just.<br /><br />3. The question, whether the justice gives us the reasonable satisfaction of desires and true pleasures, can be answered therefore only on the basis the inverstigation of the relationship between happiness and knowledge and pleasure. This problem treats Plato in his discussions about the idea of the good in the books V, VI and VII. Plato says that the happiness is identical neither to pleasure nor to knowledge. What then is the happiness? But in the Republic he gives up to examine the nature of knowledge and its object. This may be disappointing, but it is true. The only task for him is therefore to show that the just live happily not because of the reasonable satisfaction of desires, but because of true pleasures. This proof for the true pleasure of the just is finally given in book IX. Plato argue here that the philosophers lead happy lives, because they lead true pleasant lives.<br />The two definitions of the happiness in Plato are not entirely different ones. The pleasure is something which the satisfaction of the desire brings with itself. Therefore the two characterisations of the happiness are two sides of the same medal. But this view of Plato does not seem to be well justified. In so far as the object of the knowledge of the philosophers is not sufficiently determined, one cannot state that the philosophers satisfy their desires reasonably and therefore lead happy lives. We can describe the view of Plato s Republic regarding the relationship between justice and happiness as hedonistic eudamonism.<br /><br />4. No other Platonic dialogue shows as many references within the book as the Republic. Plato seems to have revised the book over a long time. In order to justify his claim about the relationship between justice and happiness, he had to treat all possible philosophical topics: There we find his moral philosophy, political philosophy, social philosophy, ontology, epistemology, science theory, philosophical anthropology and aesthetics. That is not an indication for his philosophical ambition to represent all important philosophical topics in a book but only for the fact how he thoroughly and consistently continued his laborious philosophical attempt to establish the basis of the morality on the human happiness. Despite his effort it is inevitable to draw the conclusion that the Republic is an unfinished symphony, because it does not offer substantial investigation of the important element of the human happiness, i.e. the problem of the desire and the knowledge.

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