Plato: “Of Wealth, Justice, Moderation, and Their Opposites”

(ca. 380 BCE)

In the first book of the Republic (ca. 380 BCE), the Greek philosopher Plato attempts to establish the nature of justice. This task is a keystone of all Plato's philosophy, which endeavors to answer the question “How should men live?” In “Of Wealth, Justice, Moderation, and Their Opposites,” Plato's answer takes a political dimension. He begins by trying to define justice as an exemplary virtue (a specific instance of the most general form of the good itself), which leads to an investigation of the forces that define society and suggest how an ideal state should be constructed....

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Marble head of Plato (Yale University Art Gallery)

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