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Posts tagged ‘Helen King’

Day 26: Quacks: Doctors and Philosophers

In the first book of Plato’s Republic, Plato has Socrates turn to the medical art in order to argue that justice like other technai, or knowledges that serve some practical purpose, benefit those they serve rather than those who have the knowledge.  Socrates is responding to Thrasymachus who thinks justice is a purely conventional effort to use one’s power to serve themselves.  Socrates, as is his wont in Platonic dialogues, introduces the question of knowledge–how can we serve ourselves if we do not know what would serve us well?  Having Thrasymachus agree that we expect the ruled to obey, and that if they were to obey when the ruler was wrong about what serves him well, Socrates also gets Thrasymachus to agree that this view would have justice be both serving the rulers’ end and not.  Thrasymachus explains himself by saying the ruler is only the ruler when the ruler is right about what his advantage is. Read more