The Republic


In the book Republic written by Plato, Thrasymachus joins a discussion with Socrates and Polemarchus. Thrasymachus had tried many times to take over the discussion but was restrained by those sitting near him, who wanted to hear the others’ arguments to the end. Thrasymachus becomes angered when the other philosophers are unable to give a clear and concise explanation about what justice is. He does not want to accept questions without answers. The discussion is lead into politics and leaders. Apparently, Thrasymachus is more concerned about the technique Socrates uses to debate moreso than the actual theme and purpose of the discussion, as witnessed by the line “he coiled himself up like a wild beast about to spring, and he hurled himself at us as if to tear us to pieces” (page 12) Comparing Thrasymachus to a wild beast ready to attack potrays him as having a chip on his shoulder or argumentative soley for arguments sake.


Finally, Thrasymachus reluctantly concedes to a point given my Socrates. “No kind of knoledge seeks or orders what is advantageous to itself, then, but what is advantageous to the weaker, which is subject to it.” This is an optomistic view of the skilled craftmen who use this “knowledge” like a doctor as the men used as an example. A doctor can be seen as a money-maker or a caretaker of the sick; these men chose the later.