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Virtue and HappinessEssays in Honour of Julia Annas$
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Rachana Kamtekar

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199646043

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646043.001.0001

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JUSTICE AS A VIRTUE OF THE SOUL

JUSTICE AS A VIRTUE OF THE SOUL

Chapter:
(p.88) (p.89) JUSTICE AS A VIRTUE OF THE SOUL
Source:
Virtue and Happiness
Author(s):

PAUL WOODRUFF

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646043.003.0006

Platonic justice in the Republic is essentially a pragmatic notion: justice is whatever virtue is most important to the success of the city, where success is understood in terms of the growth of other virtues and the prevention of civil war. This pragmatic assumption about justice puts no direct constraints on what counts as justice in principles, in procedures, in behaviors, or in the distribution of goods. Plato instead calls attention to a matter in ethics or to the psychological character that citizens must have in a city that is successful on his terms. Plato is right about this: an adequate pragmatic account of justice must privilege ethical character over elements of justice such as principles or procedures.

Keywords:   Plato, Republic, justice, virtue, character, soul, polis, stasis

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