Justice as a Concept of What We Believe
In a social setting, the good can be maintained by the mass, whereas an individual might or might not promote the good. Tyranny is the degeneration of a monarchy so that the ruler serves his own interests and not those of the common good. When polity degenerates, the result is mob-rule in which individuals seek only their own benefit and not that of the common good (Saunders 198). Clearly, Aristotle sees justice as producing the common good, which links him with the later Utilitarians who sought the greatest good for the greatest number.

Plato also was much concerned with justice and offered one of the most complete discussions of the topic in The Republic, where different speakers offer their views of what justice might be, and indeed should be. The first conception of justice offered in The Republic is justice that underlies traditional morality, and it is Cephalus who suggests this definition. He looks back over his life and states that justice is found in speaking the truth and paying your debts. This leads to the argument of Thrasymachus, who defines justice as a form of radicalism. The theory of Glaucon is addressed next, a pragmatic view which sees justice as the result of fear, the fear of retaliation. Men are thus forced to be just by the fear that they will be punished if they are not. For Glaucon, then, justice is a function for the weaker in society, while the ruler, who has all the p

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