The Republic

Equal Opportunity in the Republic

Plato thinks that in the Republic Justice is to be found because all persons are treated equally in that each is given a social position and vocational place suited to his/her talents. Do you agree that Plato's arrangement satisfies what may be called "equal opportunity?"

In the Republic Plato outlines a society whose values are radically different from those we possess in western societies today. Plato believes that the "good" will be achieved through justice and that justice can be delivered by structuring a society in a hierarchical manner such that each person is assigned a job based on his/her greatest talent. Justice, while it may seem to be in the same spirit as many of our western democratic views ends up clashing with our most basic inalienable right, in a word freedom. It is for this reason that the values espoused in the Republic, namely justice, happiness, equality etc... Come into direct opposition with our own culturally esteemed values of freedom. One might say that the Republic is sympathetic to our views in that we both claim to value "equality", "justice", "goodness" but the fact is that the two social orders are similar only in the words through which they...

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