Some extra relevant information:
While many ancient Greek philosophers engaged in discussions about justice, one notable philosopher who did not participate in the conversation in Plato’s Republic is Socrates himself. Surprisingly, considering that Socrates is the central figure in Plato’s dialogues, he does not actively partake in the direct discussion on justice within the text. Instead, Socrates assumes the role of a facilitator or guide, leading the discourse towards unraveling the nature of justice through thought experiments and dialectical methods.
In the Republic, Plato’s brother, Glaucon, and their friend, Adeimantus, play significant roles in the dialogue’s exploration of justice. They challenge Socrates to define and defend the concept of justice against various objections and alternative viewpoints.
Glaucon initiates the discussion by proposing a thought experiment where he distinguishes between the intrinsic value of justice and the instrumental value it holds for individuals. He argues that people are only just because they fear punishment or desire a good reputation, rather than genuinely valuing justice for its own sake. Adeimantus builds upon Glaucon’s argument, further questioning whether justice is truly beneficial in itself or simply a means to individual gain.
By engaging with these objections, Socrates indirectly addresses the perspectives of other philosophers who could have participated in the conversation. However, it is important to note that many other ancient Greek philosophers, such as Aristotle, Pythagoras, and Heraclitus, had unique thoughts and ideas about justice outside of Plato’s Republic.
While Socrates might not actively engage in the discussion on justice within the context of the Republic, his overall influence on Plato’s philosophical ideas and his impact on subsequent thinkers cannot be undermined. Socrates’ Socratic method of questioning and emphasis on ethical reflection has left a lasting imprint on Western philosophy and continues to shape debates about justice and morality.