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

(ca. 380 BCE)

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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...