The Republic HTML version
With these words I was thinking that I had made an end of the discussion; but the end, in
truth, proved to be only a beginning. For Glaucon, who is always the most pugnacious of
men, was dissatisfied at Thrasymachus' retirement; he wanted to have the battle out. So
he said to me: Socrates, do you wish really to persuade us, or only to seem to have
persuaded us, that to be just is always better than to be unjust?
I should wish really to persuade you, I replied, if I could.
Then you certainly have not succeeded. Let me ask you now:--How would you arrange
goods--are there not some which we welcome for their own sakes, and independently of
their consequences, as, for example, harmless pleasures and enjoyments, which delight us
at the time, although nothing follows from them?
I agree in thinking that there is such a class, I replied.
Is there not also a second class of goods, such as knowledge, sight, health, which are
desirable not only in themselves, but also for their results?
Certainly, I said.
And would you not recognize a third class, such as gymnastic, and the care of the sick,
and the physician's art; also the various ways of money-making--these do us good but we
regard them as disagreeable; and no one would choose them for their own sakes, but only
for the sake of some reward or result which flows from them?
There is, I said, this third class also. But why do you ask?
Because I want to know in which of the three classes you would place justice?
In the highest class, I replied,--among those goods which he who would be happy desires
both for their own sake and for the sake of their results.
Then the many are of another mind; they think that justice is to be reckoned in the
troublesome class, among goods which are to be pursued for the sake of rewards and of
reputation, but in themselves are disagreeable and rather to be avoided.
I know, I said, that this is their manner of thinking, and that this was the thesis which
Thrasymachus was maintaining just now, when he censured justice and praised injustice.
But I am too stupid to be convinced by him.
I wish, he said, that you would hear me as well as him, and then I shall see whether you
and I agree. For Thrasymachus seems to me, like a snake, to have been charmed by your
voice sooner than he ought to have been; but to my mind the nature of justice and
injustice have not yet been made clear. Setting aside their rewards and results, I want to