The Six Best Books on Justice

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This page contains a list of the best books on justice. Just to be clear, there is no single best book on justice. The best book for you will depend on your preferred learning style and the amount of time that you want to spend reading about justice. An 800-page scholarly overview is unlikely to be best for someone looking for a short beginner-friendly introduction, for example. This list aims to take this ambiguity into account by featuring books that will appeal to a variety of learning styles. Secondly, this …

The Misery of Tyrants – a short reading from Plato’s Republic

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“He who is the real tyrant, whatever men may think, is the real slave, and is obliged to practise the greatest adulation and servility, and to be the flatterer of the vilest of mankind.” In this passage from book nine of Plato’s Republic, Socrates finally responds to the challenge set by Glaucon in book two; speaking as devil’s advocate, Glaucon claimed that people want nothing to restrict their desire for more and more of everything. If anyone could profit from acting unjustly and guarantee that they could get away with …

The Ring of Gyges and the Advantages of Injustice – a short reading from Plato’s Republic

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“Gods and men are said to unite in making the life of the unjust better than the life of the just.” This passage from Book II of Plato’s Republic raises a number of questions about human nature and the nature of justice: Is the life of the unjust man happier than man who is just? Are people inherently selfish? Is justice good for it’s own sake or because it leads to good consequences? What exactly is justice? The two speakers in this section of the dialogue are Glaucon and Socrates. …

Socrates on the Examined Life – a short reading from Plato’s Apology

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“And if I say again that daily to discourse about virtue, and of those other things about which you hear me examining myself and others, is the greatest good of man, and that the unexamined life is not worth living, you are still less likely to believe me.” Introduction In the year 399 B.C., in Athens, Socrates was brought to trial on charges of impiety and corrupting the youth. He was found guilty and condemned to death. The Apology, written by Plato, is an account Socrates’ defense speech at the …