Formation of the First City

  • R. C. Cross
  • A. D. Woozley


Having declared what kind of a good he intends to show justice to be, Plato immediately reverts to his original question “What is Justice ? ”, and proposes a new procedure for answering it (368d). We ascribe justice, not only to an individual man, but also to a whole community, such as a Greek city; that is, it makes sense to characterise Athens as being just, as much as it does so to characterise Socrates. And because a city is larger than an individual, they might find it easier to make out in it what they are looking for, and thereafter identify the corresponding property in the individual. He therefore proposes that they should begin by examining a city coming into being and find justice (and injustice) coming into being with it. Having located and identified justice in it, they can perform the corresponding operation for the individual with more hope of success than if they followed the method of Book I.


Economic Exchange Primitive Community Moral Comment Greek City Moral Notion 
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Copyright information

© R. C. Cross and A. D. Woozley 1964

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. C. Cross
    • 1
  • A. D. Woozley
    • 2
  1. 1.University of AberdeenUK
  2. 2.University of VirginiaUSA

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